Believe it or not, toilets have their day on the calendar as well. November 19 is World Toilet Day. Why would such a mundane appliance have a day dedicated to it every year?

Without toilets and sanitation systems our health, water resources, and environment would be significantly impacted in a negative way. Throughout history and sadly today many diseases, illnesses, and deaths are caused due to lack of toilets and sanitary systems. An unfathomable fact is that more people in the world have phones than toilets.

Even in our recent history, 25% of US homes still lacked indoor toilets and in some Southern states that number topped 50% in 1950. Government legislation, health and environmental laws were enacted to improve our public health standards. Today, many of us in the western world don’t give toilets a second thought and take them for granted.

New technologies and methods strive to improve our sanitary systems to make them more efficient. Toilets which account for about 30 percent of the home’s indoor water use also continue to evolve. Prior to the 1990s toilets could use up to 6 gallons per flush. In the early 90s, federal law mandated that all toilets manufactured and installed had to have a 1.6 gallon flush. Now you can get toilets that have a 1.28 gallon flush.

If you live in a home built before 1992, you may have old toilets using up to six gallons per flush. Changing them to 1.28 gallons per flush toilets would reduce your toilet water use up to almost 80%. When shopping for a toilet look for those labeled WaterSense.

Toilets improve public health, but they need care too. Over time toilets can start leaking. A leaking toilet can waste 1,000 gallons a day. It is usually the toilet flapper. A quick way to test is to place a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. If the color shows up in the bowl within 15 minutes without flushing, you have a leak. Flush the toilet after this test to avoid staining the tank. Toilet flappers are easy and cheap to replace. Also only flush toilet paper down your toilets. Anything else can create sewer backups which are messy and costly.

Yes, toilets and sanitary systems play a vital role in our daily lives ensuring healthy living and protecting our natural resources. By maintaining our toilets and upgrading our old toilets we too create a positive impact.

Toho Water Authority will definitely be celebrating this day. We will be on social media bringing awareness about the importance of toilets and sanitary systems. Regrettably, there are billions of people around the world living without toilets and sanitary systems. We hope you will join us in this worldwide campaign. To learn more visit