Welcome to the home of the Passaic River Coalition in Morristown, NJ
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Thinking about water efficiency at Willow Hall
We’ll be the first to tell you that “going green” can take some time. It’s a process where we adjust our lifestyles (or office-style in our case) to be more considerate of the environment. It’s also something which might never be finished as our understanding of the environment continues to grow and new technology becomes affordable. Take our water usage at Willow Hall for example. There are four bathrooms in Willow Hall. When we were almost ready to move in last summer, our plumber informed us that two of the four toilets were broken beyond repair. While this posed a bit of a problem for the staff, it provided an excellent opportunity to install more efficient equipment in the two bathrooms. The apartment toilet is in proper working order (for now) so we’ve decided to hold off on replacing it. The downstairs toilet is another story (see the photo below). Besides that obvious aesthetic issue that the toilet, sink, and bathtub are black and never look clean, the toilet tank is huge and uses at least 5 gallons per flush. (The current standard for toilets is 1.6 gallons per flush and high efficiency toilets use 1.28 gallons or less.) Needless to say, as an organization that works to protect water supplies, we’re not particularly proud of that toilet. But there are plans to replace it with a more efficient toilet when we get funding to make the whole bathroom ADA-compliant. In the future we would also like to upgrade our faucets with more efficient models as well. Like we said, it’s a process. Efficiency is an important component of reducing our water usage. There are some behaviors we can’t stop doing, such as washing our hands or flushing the toilet (unless you have a composting toilet). But we can minimize the impact of those behaviors by using efficient fixtures that let you do the same thing with less water. Though it’s important to note that even with efficient fixtures, 30 minute showers are still a waste of water.