It's time to re-visit water
High-Efficiency Toilets (HETs). HETs are a new generation of toilets that use 1.28 gallons of water or less to achieve a reliable flush.
Mariano Engineering has specified HETs on various commercial and residential projects; the cost difference between normal toilets and HETs has is insignificant compared to the amount of water saved.
There are two types of HETs: pressure-assist and dual-flush. Pressure-assist models use the pressure in the water pipes to provide a smaller but more forceful flush. Dual-flush toilets work with gravity, like standard residential toilets. But, dual-flush toilets offer the user a choice of two flush levels, a full 1.6-gallon flush (same as standard toilets) and a "partial-flush" of 1.2 to 0.8 gallons.
The latter allows lucky users in one direction for liquid waste and another direction for solid waste. The user can choose the appropriate flush that best suits his or her needs. This technology is becoming common in other parts of the world, including the U.K. and Australia (where all new buildings must have efficient toilets), but it has yet to become as popular in the United States.
And why not?
Americans are just as conscious as their European counterparts. Let's say a family of four lives in a home with two bathrooms. This family could save 2,000 gallons per year for each 1.6-gallon standard toilet they replace. This same family of four would save about $157 per year for each 3.5-gallon toilet replaced or $32.68 per year for each 1.6-gallon toilet replaced by a HET model. They would be paid back for this upgraded toilet in only a year or two. It is up to us as architects, engineers, and contractors, to educate our clients on the benefits of these water saving fixtures.
Have you noticed? Water rates in many communities have risen faster than inflation.
Some water companies offer a rebate as an incentive to replace existing toilets with HETs