Is Your Bathroom Operating in the Red?



Month Year



High-efficiency toilets (HETs) can contribute to sustainability efforts.


If you were in California say, 20 years ago, you might remember the slogan..."If it's yellow, let it mellow - if it's brown, flush it down"


This saying was developed and taught to school-aged children during the drought of the 90s. More than 20 years later, California continues to set the trend for green initiatives by declaring that all new toilets must be HETs by 2014.


It's time to re-visit water 

conservation practices



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



Did you find HETs interesting?  Don't miss your August 2011, SustainaBulletin, which will highlight another smart sustainable concept for you to think about while designing your next project.  Also, feel free to contact us  by phone or e-mail - or if you prefer, give us a "shout out!" on our Facebook page or Twitter Account.


Mariano Engineering, LLC   

6040 S. Durango Drive, 100 Las Vegas, NV 89113






Ron Mariano
Mariano Engineering

Featured Article

Quick Links

Find us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

What Beats a 

Royal Flush?


Look for toilets with the WaterSense label. WaterSense, a two-year-old program sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency, offers certification for a range of water-efficient products and appliances. All WaterSense products have to pass a water-use test. Toilets must be able to dispose of 350 grams of solid waste in a single flush.    




Feeling Flushed 

about Flushing?


The average person will flush a toilet about 140,000 times during his or her lifetime. 


With HETs that comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's WaterSense program, you can reduce the amount of water used per flush by 20 percent.


Join Our Mailing List