The water consumption when brushing teeth
When brushing one should always turn off the tap, everyone knows that. But how much money does that save? And it really only has advantages?
Statistically speaking, every German uses around 120 liters per day. This is used for toilet flushing, personal hygiene, cooking or cleaning and washing clothes. Compared to poorer countries, you consume significantly more water in this country. In the same statistics, for example, India is listed with an average per capita consumption of only 25 liters – just over a fifth of the German value. Nevertheless, many other nations also bring much higher values than we do here in Germany. Americans, like Russians, Spaniards and Norwegians all consume more than double our average consumption. While the water saving in rainy countries like ours is at least controversial (more on that below), one thing is undisputed. The more water you consume, the higher the utility’s bill will be at the end of the year. Everyone could probably do without that, but how and how much can you save on brushing your teeth?
Every liter is worth cash
How much water is consumed when brushing your teeth depends on the one hand on whether the water is constantly running and on the other hand on how much water flows out of the tap every minute. According to a DIN standard, a tap at the sink can reach a maximum of 8.4 liters per minute (or 0.14 liters per second). Of course, there will be many installations that deviate more or less from these values, but we still want to reckon with these default values for our example calculation. We therefore accept a standardized and fully functional installation.
If you use a cup when brushing your teeth, you will hardly use more water than the cup can hold. This is usually not much more than 0.2 liters, which is a twice a day brushing Water consumption of about 0.4 liters would result. On the other hand, if you let the water run during the cleaning, things look very different. The cleaning process is designed for most electric toothbrushes with the help of a timer to 2 minutes. In the meantime, 16.8 liters (8.4 liters per minute x 2 minutes) flow from a standard tap. If you brush your teeth – as recommended – even in the evening, you get accordingly to a consumption of 33.6 liters per day. This is one compared to the first scenario More consumption of 33.2 liters a day (33.6 liters – 0.4 liters)!
With an average water price of around 2 euros per cubic meter (or 0.2 cents per liter) results daily additional costs of 6.64 cents (33.2 liters x 0.2 cents per liter). Over the course of a year, the extra water costs add up to just over € 24, and that for just one person! In a four-person household resulting from the lavish brushing your teeth additional costs for the water of almost 100 euros. A cost factor that can be easily and then significantly reduced.
Where there is light, there is shadow too
A few years ago, it was also desirable in terms of the environment to consume as little water as possible. At least in the point one is disagreeing today. Since we live in a relatively rainy region, we consume anyway only about 20 percent of annual rainfall and the water used is not permanently removed from the cycle. In addition, the quite pronounced water saving with us already causes some real problems. Since the fresh water pipes are sometimes not sufficiently flushed, bacteria can form in standing water. Even in the sewers, the low flow rates have disadvantages. Solid residues deposit on the pipes more often, requiring expensive maintenance. Nevertheless, one should not waste tap water, of course. This expresses firstly on the wallet and secondly, for the eventual heating of the water even energy is consumed. At least that should be saved for environmental reasons as much as possible.
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