Technology Snapshot & Benefits:
Low-flow toilets are
specifically designed to use less water during each flush. This is an important
feature in an increasing number of areas throughout the country where water is
limited. In all parts of the country, low-flow toilets make simple sense by
conserving a natural resource used for routine and mundane tasks. To gain an
appreciation of what a low-flow toilet can mean to you and your community, take
a field trip to your local sewage treatment plant and look at the effort and
expenditure required to treat sewage and reclaim water. Low-flow toilets make
sense, particularly in water-constrained areas.
Estimated Cost Savings:
Water is still an under-valued resource but general understanding of its
importance is growing. Mark Twain may have had it right when he commented
know the worth of water when the well runs dry." A state-of-the-art low-flow
toilet may consume less than two gallons of water per flush compared to
five or more gallons with "old" technology toilets. The new toilets can cut
your expenditure for flushing in half, or more. Yet flushing is only part of
your annual water budget and you should pay some attention to the performance of
your clothes washer and dishwasher as well.
For new homes, getting a low-flow toilet may not be an option – it may be
required by local building codes. Like most consumer items, retrofit models
can vary in their design and effectiveness. For a good coverage of issues, see
Consumer Reports, October, 2002, page 52.
Toilet options may depend on local building codes and sources of supply.
(Getting It Done):
Be sure to get bids from two or three (or more) plumbers to gain immediate
perspective on the true value and costs of low-flow toilets in your area.
Videos On This Topic:
Install a Dual-Flush Toilet (4:20) - This Old House -
An easy way to
save water is to install toilets that use fewer gallons per flush. New
technology has allowed for dual-flush toilets that provide multiple flushing
options, thus reducing the overall water use significantly. In this video, find out how to install a dual flush toilet into your home to
start experiences savings today.
Articles on This Topic:
U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy:
Toilets and Urinals
U.S. Department of Energy's Federal Energy Management Program: Energy Cost
Calculator for Urinals and Toilets