Many of the products we buy in Bermuda are manufactured in the United States, and the water conservation laws there are quite strict.
So, in turn, we get some very innovative and effective water-efficient products.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has come up with a programme called WaterSense (www.epa.gov/watersense). Products that have been certified to be at least 20 per cent more efficient than required by law are allowed to bear the WaterSense label and use it in their marketing.
This helps to educate consumers about water-efficient products and encourages innovation in manufacturing.
Under current law, faucets must have a flow rate under 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm), showerheads must be under 2.5gpm and toilets must flush with 1.6 gallons of water or less.
Years ago, toilets flushed with an average of 5.4 gallons per flush (gpf).
In the Nineties they were regulated to flush on 3.5 gpf and more recently on only 1.6 gpf, so we have come a long way.
Replacing old toilets in your house can save up to 11 gallons per toilet per day by EPA estimates.
However, many toilets now flush on only 1.28 gpf — meeting the WaterSense requirements.
American Standard achieved this efficiency by making the flush valve larger, which allows water to move from the tank to the bowl much faster.
It has also introduced bigger, glazed trapways, which reduce friction and let waste pass through faster.
The company’s Siphonic Action toilets also empty the bowl quicker by using an ‘S’-shaped waterway.
Another great product is the Dual Flush toilet. It has a dual push button on top. The number one flush uses a mere 1.0gpf and the number two flush uses 1.6 gpf. And of course we all know what one and two mean.
American Standard’s showerheads are even more efficient — they contain a small turbine-like mechanism that spins the water through the showerhead so that it creates an invigorating spray, using only 1.5gpm. So it feels like more water than it actually uses.
And a key part of saving water is by not wasting water.
Washer-less cartridges prevent potential waste through a dripping faucet, which can waste hundreds of gallons per week.
In general, we Bermudians all know how to save water.
We have been raised with an awareness of how much we use and how to conserve. But these new water-efficient products will make our job easier.
• Sacha Bearden is the owner of Baptiste Ltd, Middle Road, Warwick. Baptiste Ltd stocks building supplies, home decor and household goods. Its bathroom section stocks American Standard sinks, bath tubs and toilets plus other fixtures. Call 236-2095 or go to www.baptiste.bm.