Educating Canadians about saving water

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Canadians still waste a fair amount of water by leaving taps running, choosing high-pressure showerheads, and keeping older toilets. Photo © BigStockPhoto/Anne-Louise Quarfoth.

A World Plumbing Day survey reveals more education work needs to be done when it comes to water consumption. More than a third of Canadians leave the water running while brushing their teeth, and half of Canadians choose high-pressure showerheads over ones with high efficiency, according to the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating (CIPH) and research company Ipsos Reid.

The CIPH conducted the survey to raise awareness and educate the public about smart water use and the importance of water conservation.

“The showerhead finding exposes a common misconception that more sustainable water use in the home means sacrificing some of the pleasures of luxurious living, such as a satisfying shower,” said CIPH’s Ralph Suppa. “The Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating’s membership is committed to water efficiency and conservation, but is also very aware of the quality Canadian consumers’ demand from their plumbing. With their pledge to new technology, our members are making innovative products that don’t sacrifice quality or satisfaction to be more sustainable.”

Additionally, homeowners also underestimate the considerable improvement one efficient plumbing fixture can have on water use. When asked how much water a Canadian family can save in a year by installing a high-efficiency toilet, respondents’ guesses averaged 3032 L (801 gal). However, exchanging an older toilet for a high-efficiency one can save nearly 20,000 L (5283 gal) of water annually.

Suppa told Construction Canada Online he thinks people are sometimes a bit complacent when it comes to water conservation.

“Access to clean water has always been ‘there’ for Canadians,” he explained. “We have been far more fortunate than those in other parts of the world who don’t have such access––and the survey results will hopefully get the public thinking a little more about this.”

“Same goes with their fixtures; people often don’t think ahead or concern themselves with the long-term savings that can be realized by replacing existing toilets and fixtures with some of the more efficient products out there,” he continued. “People sometimes concern themselves only with the immediate expense that might be associated with the installation of any of the far more efficient systems available on the market.”

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