The closer the NFL gets to its biggest game of the season, the more likely you are to hear about the infamous “Super Bowl Flush Rush.” While all logic points to this being a myth – the story being that all the flushing that occurred during half time of the big game in 1984 precipitated a water main break in Salt Lake City – people still love to keep the legend alive. I however, like to put emphasis on responsible water usage as well as on the progress that makes the possibility of “flush rush” disasters less and less likely. To do so, I thought it’d be fun to give you Dr. Water’s tips and insights as they would have been presented to the first group of Super Bowl watchers in 1967, and do the same for the fans gearing up to watch Super Bowl L this February 7.
Dear Readers of 1967!
As the country gears up for the very first Super Bowl, there is growing concern that collective toilet usage during half time and at the game’s end will put so much stress on sewer systems that they will break down. While sewer and water systems have come a long way since the early part of this century, we all can take steps during the big game to help alleviate undue stress on our water systems.
Use the outhouse! Today, many rural areas still rely on the great outdoors instead of indoor plumbing. If they exist where you are, step out to do your business and lessen the flush frequency.
- Drink responsibly! Cutting down on beer and soda pop can reduce the flush frequency as both can act as diuretics and increase the need to “go.”
- Pizza! Pizza! A convenient, universally loved way to satisfy all tastes on the big game day, serving pizza at your party can also contribute to your water responsibility. Able to be served and eaten with little more than the box and napkins, pizza reduces dishwashing and garbage disposal waste.
- Send the women. Since men are much more into the game, making up the majority of this year’s 50 million viewers, reserve half time and game’s end for their bathroom visits. Your group can disperse flushes by assigning bathroom visits during the game to the ladies.
- Who cares? With advertisers spending a mere $42,000 for a 30-second commercial, chances are you won’t be missing much if you make a trip to the bathroom at commercial break.
Dear Readers of 2016!
As the country gears up for the milestone 50th Super Bowl, for the most part we can all rest assured the fear of “flush rush” breaking water mains is unfounded – even if you happen to be live at the game, American Water knows the NFL cares about responsible flushing in their stadiums! Still, you can be water responsible by following a few tips during parties for the big game:
- Flush with confidence! Annual investment on water supply and sanitation systems repair, replacement and maintenance is about $28.5 billion – a lot of progress has been made for systems as well as in toilet technology that reduces water usage.
- Drink responsibly! See above, its still a good idea to cut down on beer and caffeine!
- Pizza! Or Not! Today’s more efficient dishwasher technology means you can dish out chips and salsa, wings and other football faves and wash up in more water-friendly ways.
- Send the men! With women now making up nearly 47% of Super Bowl viewers and being a target audience for many ads, it may be a smart move to designate ad breaks as male flush times.
- Pause it! DVR and other TV technologies exist so we don’t miss a second. If a bathroom visit is needed, don’t hold it, pause the game (or the commercials which at $5 million a pop are sure to be impressive). You can resume catch up to real time during replays and repeat ads.