An average person spends a half hour on the toilet every day. Women a little more than men. If we add it all up we spend about a year of our life on the loo! At Rioned we were wondering how much money our toilet habits actually cost us each year?


In Europe the average person flushes six times per day. We go “number two” one or two times, and need to get rid of a “number one” about five times a day. The average toilet uses 6.74 liters (1.78 US gallon) of water. That is 33.7 liters (8.9 Gallon) per day. This means a total of more than 12.300 liters (3,249.32 gallon ) flushed per person per year! It’s no surprise that toilet flushing (for which filtered drinking water is used!) is said to be the highest use of water in private homes. 1000 liters (264 gallon) of water costs € 1.58 which comes to € 19.43 per year. That doesn’t sound too bad...but hold your horses, as we’re far from the final number!


The average European uses 25 sheets of toilet paper each day. This significantly differs from person to person. We have learned there are ‘crumplers’ and ‘folders’.


About 60% of people fold, and 40% crumple. Crumplers obviously use more paper; yes, research has been done to substantiate this! Folders are generally more serious people it is believed, and crumplers are generally seen as slightly chaotic!

And now the cost: 25 sheets equals 1.5 rolls per week, per person. That's 78 rolls per person per year. When calculating with a price per roll of € 0.50, this adds up to € 39 in costs, per person per year! These are just the costs of convenience in cold hard cash; but what does it ‘cost’ our environment? When you take a close look at the numbers, you might find it hard to believe; we flush 27,000 trees down the toilet across the globe every single day!

Sewage charges

Of course what you flush down the toilet ends up in the sewer. Sometimes the craziest things cause blockages, with all it’s inconvenience. Rioned’s powerful and professional drain- and sewer cleaning equipment helps unclog sewer pipes fast! But the use of the sewer system and it’s maintenance has to be paid for. Costs vary by country and city for a variety of reasons, like the age of the sewer system and the condition of the soil. In addition, some cities have different fees for single and multi-person households. In Groningen, the Netherlands, one pays € 358.00 a year. In the city of Rijswijk sewer fees are only € 82.00. Those who lives in Rijswijk pay very little for their flushing privileges compared to those living in Groningen, where it is four times as expensive! The average sewerage charge is about €170,00 per year in the Netherlands.

Water Tax

Sewage flows into drains where it is filtered and cleaned so that it can be given back to the soil. For purification you pay an additional water tax, which costs an average of € 55.00 per person per year.

If we add it all up!

Not only are we spending 80 hours per year on the loo, we’re spending an impressive annual fee for our bathroom routines. Let's add everything up, and for the sake convenience let’s look at the costs for someone who lives alone.

  • Water use: € 19.43
  • Toilet paper: € 39.00
  • Sewage charges € 170.00
  • Water Tax € 55.00

Total (average): € 283.43 per year.

And you still need to add cleaning products, deodorants, wet tissues and toilet brushes to make the figure more complete.


Back to the future? Outhouse, image via motherjones

Cheaper and more durable

Reason enough to see if we can’t make our daily toilet routine a bit cheaper AND more durable. Right now 29% of our drinking water is flushed down the drain. Simple solutions, like this easy trick, that easily converts a traditional toilet into a low flush one, is a good start. Saving many gallons of water annually. More invasive solutions, like a grey water system or a no flush toilet, are also addressing the problem of high water use.

Question is; are we ready for a change? What do you think?