Did you know that toilets were originally called “plunger toilets”? As humorous as that may sound it is true. Since the “plunger closet” was patented in 1857, Americans began to abandon their outhouses in favor of the convenience of flushable indoor toilets.
It is difficult, if not impossible, for us to relate to life before the invention of modern bathrooms. Think about it. Getting up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom meant putting on your shoes and housecoat for a little jaunt across the yard. If having to wander outdoors in pitch darkness doesn’t sound creepy enough, what do you think it was like to actually go into a wooden outhouse to do your business? Then you also have to think about using the outhouse at any time when there’s three feet of snow and the mercury dips below zero.
Fortunately, we no longer have to worry about leaving our homes to use the bathroom, or heating a tub of water over the wood stove to bath. What we do have to consider, however, is the efficiency of our bathroom fixtures. Studies have shown that modern toilets can save a family of four up to 30 gallons of water per day!
The key to pressurized water efficient toilets is found in its two separate tanks and compressed air. When water saving toilets are flushed, the inside is completely sealed off and compressed. As water is fed to the inner tank via the water line, the compressed air forces the water out. This prevents the water from receding due to the gravitational force that is typical of standard toilets. Ultimately, this reduces water loss by actually reusing the water during the flush, as opposed to replacing the water that is lost due to gravity.
The United States waste more water than any other country in the world. This is because we are lucky enough to live in a country where fresh water is plentiful – at least for the time being. If you are the kind of person who cares about the environment and conserving water, water saving toilets are the way to go. The bottom line is to appreciate the fact that you do have unlimited access to fresh water – and that you don’t have to trudge through the snow in the middle of a frigid January night to relieve yourself.