According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 36 states will experience non-drought-related water shortages in the next 10 years. And, increasingly, facility managers are implementing ways to reduce water consumption in their buildings. This includes plumbing fixtures that use less water to function than in previous years. In terms of toilets, the The National Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct) required plumbing fixture manufacturers to reduce toilet water consumption from 3.5 gallons per flush (gpf) to 1.6 gpf. This helped the movement to reduce water usage.
However, there is another toilet technology that uses even less water per flush–High Efficiency Toilets (HETs). These fixtures — defined as a toilet that consumes a minimum of 20% less water than the 1.6 gpf models mandated by EPAct, that is, a maximum of 1.28 gpf — entered the U.S. market in 1998. And with the ongoing pressure to continue conservation efforts, facility managers may want to look at HETs (available from some manufacturers in dual flush models) for their next restroom renovation or new construction project.
When shopping, the EPA’s WaterSense voluntary product-labeling program can be a starting point. The program, launched in 2006, contains a specification for HETs. There are currently HETs from 25 manufacturers that have made the WaterSense list; among this list are American Standard, Kohler, TOTO, and Zurn.
American Standard has made available a white paper “High Efficiency Toilets (HETs): Why ‘Flushing with Confidence’ is Here to Stay”, which provides an overview of why HETs were developed, how American Standard developed its models to achieve powerful flushing performance, and how these low-flow fixtures can aid in water conservation efforts.
Authored by C.J. Lagan, compliance engineering manager for American Standard Brands, the 3-page document can be downloaded, free of charge, at this Web link.
The paper reviews the flushing technologies developed by American Standard, including the company’s methods to harness gravity, use larger flush valves and trapways, efficiently size water spots and well contours, and create water flow dynamics that contributed to performance of the company’s HET collections.
Do you have HETs in your facility? Have they performed as well as previous models? If you don’t have them in your facility, would you consider them?