Durham, N.C. Offsets Cost of High Efficiency Toilets

The city of Durham, N.C., is offering $100 rebates to homeowners who replace older, high-volume flush toilets with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency WaterSense-labeled High Efficiency Toilet models. The rebates can help homeowners offset the cost of the new toilet or subsidize the price of professional installation.

"Unless there's an evident problem, most people don't ever think about their toilet," says Vicki Westbrook, deputy director of the city's Department of Water Management. "But without knowing it, they could be unnecessarily flushing hundreds of gallons of water a day and hundreds of dollars a year down the drain. But now is the perfect time to replace older toilets --- before the summer and before another drought."

Homes built prior to 1993 are prime candidates for replacement as toilets in these homes most likely use 3.5 gallons per flush or higher. To determine how much water your toilet uses, check for information printed inside the tank, inside the tank lid, or at the bowl near the base of the tank.

Recently, a family of four completed a water use assessment in their 2.5 bath home and discovered that they had three high-volume flush toilets, and one toilet had a leak. By upgrading their toilets and making other simple changes in their bathrooms, they could save up to 28,000 gallons per year--more than $30 each billing cycle.

Toilets purchased after Jan. 1, 2008, that meet the U.S. EPA's WaterSense standards for water efficiency (use an average of 1.28 gallons per flush), are eligible for a rebate. Rebates will be applied as credits to customers' water bills. One rebate per owner-occupied single-family household will be allowed.

To find out more, visit www.DurhamSavesWater.org or call 866.522.3806.

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