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Potty Talk!

Want to make a difference? Change your toilet! Depending on how old your current toilet is you can save as much as 42,000 gallons of water annually for a family of four. That's less on your water bill, less on your sewer bill and certainly better for our environment.

Toilets consume more water in the average household than any other use including showers and laundry. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates a family of four can save about $1000 over ten years by installing a new high efficiency toilet.

Toilets built between 1920 through the 1970's consumed between 5 and 8 gallons per flush (gpf). Some one piece toilets consumed as much as 12 gallons per flush! The older the toilet the more water it consumed and the more you can save by changing it.

In an effort to reduce water consumption and need for more sewage treatment plants in 1995 Congress required installation of only low flow toilets consuming 1.6 gpf or less.

Manufacturers were not prepared for the sudden change and produced toilets that did not work well to eliminate solid waste. Over the next 10 years manufacturers made improvements increasing the trap diameter, glazing the trap interior and improve the flushing action of their toilets.

The current low flow toilets work equally well to the old 5 and 7 gpf predecessors.

Today we have high efficiency toilets that use 1.28 gpf or less. Some are dual flush using .8 gpf for liquid waste and 1.6 gpf for solid waste. These are still gravity flush action toilets, using only gravity to force the water from the tank into the bowl and down the trap.

The US Environmental Protection Agency developed a rating and testing system for the new high efficiency toilets that insures proper flushing action with average consumption of 1.28 gallons per flush or less. Manufacturers must have their toilets certified by a testing agency to achieve the EPA 'WaterSense' label. You can see a complete list of such toilets at

Old toilet picture

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