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Indoor Water Efficiency

Halton's Residential Toilet Rebate Program
WaterSense LogoHalton Region is currently offering a rebate to residents who purchase and install a Halton-approved water efficient toilet in their home. More information on the Toilet Rebate Program.

There are many opportunities to improve water efficiency in your home when you consider all your water-using fixtures.


Toilet flushing is usually the biggest use of water inside the home.

Toilets installed in homes prior to 1996 generally flushed with 13 to 18 litres of water or more per flush. This is six times more water than the most efficient model currently on the market!

In 1996, the Ontario Building Code mandated that 6 litre toilets be installed in all new construction. Unfortunately, many of these early designs did not perform as required. Fortunately, due to independent third party Maximum Performance TestingLink to External Site toilet design and performance has improved dramatically since then.

Ensuring all your toilets are high-efficiency WaterSense® labelled models that flush with 4.8 litres or less (including dual flush) can significantly reduce your indoor water consumption.

See if you are eligible for Halton's Toilet Rebate Program (one rebate per household).

The table below demonstrates potential water savings of an average household over the course of one year, if old 13 or 20 litre toilets are replaced with high-efficiency 4.8 litre models.

Toilet Replacements - Water Savings

Comparable Water Use:

20 Litre Toilet

13 Litre Toilet

4.8 Litre Toilet

Assume 5 flushes/person/day 100 l/p/day 65 l/p/day 24 l/p/day
Assume 2.8 persons/household 280 l/hh/day 182 l/hh/day 67 l/hh/day
Approximate water use/hh/year 102,200 l/hh/year 66,430 l/hh/year 24,528 l/hh/year

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Without proper maintenance, even a water efficient toilet may start to consume more water over time. If the flapper is not replaced regularly, it can deteriorate and the toilet may quietly run. To test your toilet for leaks, follow the steps below:

  1. Remove the tank cover from your toilet.
  2. Place a drop or two of food colouring into the tank during a period of idle use.
  3. Observe if any coloured water has seeped into toilet bowl after 15 to 30 minutes.
  4. Flush toilet to avoid colour staining the bowl

If you observe the added food colouring in the toilet bowl, without having flushed the toilet, you have a leak! This is an excellent opportunity to replace your toilet with a water efficient model, or to replace the flapper or fill valve. Check with your local plumbing supply store to ensure you replace the flapper with one specifically designed for your toilet.

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Showers and Baths

Image of a shower and bath tubShowering is the third largest use of water on average within the home. Most people would agree that showering uses less water than drawing a bath. However, with the long showers that some of us have come to enjoy, especially in showers with multiple shower heads, it can very easily use more water than taking a bath

A standard showerhead uses 9.5 to 13 litres of water per minute, along with significant energy to heat the hot water. Some styles can use more than twice this amount. A water efficient model that uses 7.6 litres per minute not only saves water but also contributes to reduced energy consumption by heating less water. The wide variety of efficient showerheads currently available means you don't have to sacrifice comfort for improved water efficiency.

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Washing Machine

Image of a washerWashing machine performance has also improved dramatically in the last few years, with the introduction of the high-efficiency front-loading style. Front-load washing machines (along with a few specially designed top-load models) use up to 40% less water and up to 60% less energy than traditional top-loading designs. By replacing the agitation function with a tumbler component, they are also designed to be more gentle on clothing.

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Image of a faucetInstall an Aerator on all faucets in your home.

  • Aerators combine water and air to establish greater pressure while using less water each time you turn on your faucet.
  • Standard faucets without aerators can use as much as 3.5L/min
  • Faucets with aerators can use as little as 1.9 L/min

Tips to help in becoming even more water efficient

You can save even more water in the home by making small changes to your daily routines in the bathroom and kitchen.

  • Avoid running the tap when brushing your teeth, cleaning, shaving, and washing. By filling a cup or the sink with water when doing these tasks can reduce water use by 60 to 80%.
  • Partially fill one sink for washing and the other for rinsing when washing dishes by hand.
  • Partially fill a container with water to wash fruits and vegetables.
  • Keep a container of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap to wait for cold water.
  • Make sure to fully load your dishwasher before each wash cycle, and you may even use less water than washing dishes by hand.
  • For the latest information on the most efficient water fixtures available, visit the WaterSense® websiteLink to External Site

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