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Fixture Efficiency
Toilets are the main source of water use in the home, accounting for nearly 30 percent of an average home's indoor water consumption. By installing High Efficiency Toilets, the average family can reduce the amount of water used for flushing by 20 to 60 percent. Installing a new toilet yourself is easier than you probably think. There are many helpful instructional videos online, including this one from Lowe’s: Replacing and Installing a Toilet.

If you have been less than impressed with the “Ultra-Low Flush” toilets of the past, you are not alone. Many of the 1.6 gallon per flush toilets manufactured in the 1990s and early 2000s require more than one flush to clear the bowl, negating the promised water savings. Today’s High Efficiency Toilets (HETs) have been completely reengineered and many can flush a very large amount of waste and paper using 1.28 gallons or less!

To ensure that you get a toilet that performs consistently well with just one flush, do your research. Read the online reviews found on seller websites, and make sure you only buy a toilet that has been WaterSense certified. The WaterSense label is used on toilets that are independently certified to meet rigorous criteria for both performance and efficiency.

Another independent toilet testing program is Maximum Performance, or MaP. To date, over 2,800 different tank-type toilet models have been tested, 2,500 of which are reported in the MaP database. Many MaP-approved toilets can flush 1,000 grams of solid waste (over 2 pounds), far more than any human is likely to produce!

Gwinnett County water customers may be eligible for a $100 rebate by replacing an old, inefficient toilet in their single family residential home. Please visit our Toilet Rebate Program page for more information.

Showers are one of the leading ways we use water in the home, accounting for nearly 17 percent of residential indoor water use. Outdated showerheads can use four gallons per minute (gpm) or more. Showerheads sold in Georgia today can use no more than 2.5 gpm, and many models use 2.0 gpm or even 1.5 gpm. Some showerheads also feature a pause button, allowing you to save even more by stopping the water flow while you lather up!

Showerheads that have earned the WaterSense use no more than 2.0 gpm and provide a satisfactory shower that is equal to or better than conventional showerheads. The average family could save 2,900 gallons per year by installing WaterSense labeled showerheads in their home. Since the water savings will reduce demands on water heaters, they will also save energy.

Faucets don’t need to be replaced to become more water efficient.  Standard faucets use 2.2 gpm, but old faucets and faucets with no aerators could be using much more. Simply twisting a new aerator onto the end of an old faucet will reduce its flow rate. When purchasing a new aerator, look for one that uses 1.0 or 1.5 gallons per minute. It’s a good idea to bring the old part or faucet measurements with you to the store to be sure you buy the right sized replacement.  If you are remodeling your bathroom and would like to replace your entire faucet, look for a WaterSense labeled model. WaterSense bathroom faucets use 30 percent less water than standard faucets without sacrificing performance. 

Retrofit Kits for Older Homes
Does your home have outdated, inefficient fixtures? Free low-flow home retrofit kits are available at DWR’s Central Facil­ity. Inside the kit are several water saving products including a low-flow showerhead, faucet aerators, and toilet leak detection dye tablets. 

The kits are available by request from the billing counter at 684 Winder Highway in Lawrenceville during our normal operating hours of 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday. There is a limit of one kit per household.

The kits are also available at DWR Conservation Workshops.  More information on workshop dates and locations is available here or download the calendar here

Appliance Efficiency
Clothes Washers are the second largest water user in your home. If your clothes washer is old, you should consider replacing it. The average American family washes about 300 loads of laundry every year. On average, ENERGY STAR certified clothes washers use about 35 percent less water and about 20 percent less energy than a regular washer. They are available in front-load and top-load models. The top-load models look like standard machines on the outside, yet they do not waste water filling up the tub. They clean using sophisticated wash systems to flip or spin clothes through a stream of water. Many have sensors to monitor clothes volume, water levels and temperature. They also rinse clothes with repeated high-pressure spraying instead of soaking them in a full tub of water.

  • To earn the Energy Star certification, clothes washers must have a Water Factor (WF) of 6 or less.  WF is the quotient of the total weighted per-cycle water consumption in gallons (Q) divided by the total capacity of the clothes washer measured in cubic feet (C).  The lower the WF value, the more water efficient the clothes washer is. 
  • WF = Q/C
  • For example, a machine with a capacity of 4 cubic feet that uses 14 gallons per load has a Water Factor of 3.5. A Water Factor of 3.5 means it uses 3.5 gallons of water per cubic foot of laundry.
  • Old, inefficient, agitator-style washing machines use an average of 40 gallons per load, while most new, front loading machines use less than 15 gallons per load. Today’s efficient washers also have a greater tub capacity which means you can wash fewer loads to clean the same amount of laundry.
  • In general, non agitator-style washers are gentler on your clothes, use less detergent, reduce drying time, and better accommodate bulky items.
  • Choose a washing machine that allows you to adjust the water level to match the size of the load or one that detects load size and automatically adjusts the amount of water.

Dishwasher technology has improved dramatically over the last decade. ENERGY STAR qualified dishwashers are required to use 5.8 gallons of water per cycle or less. By comparison, a dishwasher purchased before 1994 uses more than 15 gallons of water per cycle. A new, ENERGY STAR model uses 33 percent less water than a new, non-qualified model and will save, on average, 1,300 gallons of water over its lifetime.

  • Choose a dishwasher with several wash cycle options. If your dishes are only slightly soiled, you can use a light wash cycle, which uses less water and operates for a shorter period of time.
  • A soil-sensing dishwasher has the ability to automatically adjust the wash cycle based on the soil load of the dishes. If the dishwasher senses a relatively clean load, it can adjust the cycle to use less water.
  • Pre-rinsing dishes before loading the dishwasher can waste up to 20 gallons of water. Just scrape food residue into the trashcan and load the dishes into the machine. Today’s dishwashers and detergents are designed to eliminate the need for pre-rinsing.
  • Washing dishes by hand uses much more water than a dishwasher. Using an ENERGY STAR qualified dishwasher instead of hand washing will save 5,000 gallons of water, $40 in utility costs, and 230 hours of your time every year.