TD News, Number 1, 2008 - Internet Web Site: ''

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Changes in Water Use at Recreation Areas

Photo of a vault toilet building and a water spigot in a forested recreation area.Although visitors use Forest Service campgrounds differently than they did 30 years ago, the agency's guidance for sizing water systems has remained the same.

Standard plumbing fixtures now use only half as much water as they did in the 1970s, but most recreational vehicles and trailers have doubled in size and almost all of them include bathrooms. Based on data collected at about 50 Forest Service recreation areas across the country, water use appears to be lower than it used to be in more developed campgrounds, but it's higher in less developed campgrounds. The tech tip "Water Use in Forest Service Recreation Areas: Guidelines for Water System Designers" (0773–2326–MTDC) discusses changes that should be made to the Forest Service guidance for sizing water systems at recreation areas.

For additional information about water use at recreation areas, contact Kathleen Snodgrass, project leader (phone: 406–329–3922; e-mail:

To order the tech tip, contact MTDC publications (phone: 406–329–3978, e-mail:

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