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Thursday, 25 January 2007 03:13

EPA flush with success over new high-efficiency toilets

On January 24, 2007, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its final specification for high-efficiency toilets (HETs). The new EPA-approved toilets will perform at least 20% more efficiently that older toilets.

Companies that manufacture water-saving HETs meeting EPA WaterSense efficiency and performance criteria will have their products certified by the EPA. Once the products pass certification and the company has become a WaterSense partner, the products can be advertised with a WaterSense label.

The EPS’s WaterSense program is a national program aimed at water efficiency. Products and practices will be certified as WaterSense products and practices when they pass EPA water-efficiency criteria. The goal of the EPA with the WaterSense program is to protect the water resources throughout the United States.

The EPA reports that in order to meet its specifications, toilets must flush at least 350 grams of solid water using no more than 1.28 gallons (4.845 liters) of water for each flush. The toilets must also meet other identifiable performance standards. These new toilets will look like older toilets with respect to exterior design. However, the interior of the new toilets have been designed to improve function such as flow of materials. Improved interior mechanics also have been incorporated in order to pass WaterSense standards.

About one-third of water consumption in American homes comes from toilet use. However, as stated by the EPA, over 900 billion gallons (3,400 liters) of water each year could be saved if inefficient toilets are replaced with new HETs. In fact, the water bill for an average home consumer in the United States could be reduced by about 10% with the use of HETs. Benjamin Grumbles, the EPA’s Assistant Administrator for Water, states, “By purchasing WaterSense labeled plumbing fixtures, consumers can help protect the water supply and their wallets.”

The EPA specification (called “Tank-Type High-Efficiency Toilet Specification”) for the WaterSense HETs is found at: http://www.epa.gov/WaterSense/docs/spec_het508.pdf.


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