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Rethink Energy: Super Bowl (Flush)

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy team (AIRE). This county program helps you make smart energy decisions that save you money and leaves a lighter footprint on the environment. Got a question? Email us at [email protected]!

Whether you are planning to watch the big game tomorrow or not (sorry Redskins fans), there’s one bowl we should all keep our eyes on: the toilet bowl.

The real evidence of Arlingtonians’ Super Bowl celebrating will be in the sewer pipes. The “Super Bowl flush” is the moment that thousands of toilets in Arlington all flush at the same time – halftime.

If all 184 million viewers flushed with a water efficient WaterSense toilet instead of an older model, over 400 million gallons of water could be saved! Instead of spending money on your water bill, you could spend it on your favorite beverage.

Using water = using energy. You may not think about it, but it takes a lot of energy to purify your water and then pump it to your home. After you flush, it also takes a significant amount of energy to get your waste to Arlington’s Water Pollution Control Plant, where even more energy is required to treat the wastewater.

Why does water use matter to you? Arlington’s water and sewer rates have increased significantly over the past 15 years. These costs mostly increased due to upgrades at the Water Pollution Control Plant to ensure that Arlington’s wastewater is cleaned to meet increasingly stringent standards.

Since energy and water are inextricably linked, using WaterSense toilets (faucets and showerheads, too) saves you money on your water bill, about $110 a year per toilet. This Super Bowl, when you flush, think about tackling that toilet, showerhead, or faucet upgrade by installing high-performance WaterSense fixtures. You’ll score some savings, even if your favorite team doesn’t win!

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

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