U.S. Water News Online
SANTA FE -- Santa Fe is coming up with money to buy about
10,000 low-flow toilets in a campaign to cut water use in the capital
city by millions of dollars.
The city is under a Stage 3 water emergency, which calls for fines
for those who violate such restrictions as a once-weekly limit on
City spokesman Juan Rios said officials have not decided what type
of toilets to buy, who will get them and how much -- if anything --
the city will charge to those who have them installed.
Santa Fe officials are trying to sign up plumbers who will agree
to install the toilets at a set price so everybody knows exactly how
much it will cost, Rios said.
``I think that some people may have some reservations about a
low-flow toilet, so we are going to bring in some demos,'' he said.
``We're actually talking to dealers here in town, looking at
different types of toilets to see what would be the best toilet to
purchase, not only in terms of operations but in terms of saving
water, but the decision hasn't been made yet.''
The city hopes to have the toilets available this month, he said.
Santa Fe has budgeted $1.4 million for toilet and shower-head
replacements and $600,000 for an audit of the city's water system for
potential leaks in 500 miles of pipes, Rios said.
The American Water Works Association, in a study of homes in 14
cities, found people with low-flow toilets flushed an average of 5.04
times per day, compared to 4.92 times for people with standard
toilets. The nonprofit organization said more efficient plumbing
fixtures could reduce water use by 3.5 billion gallons per day
In the last decade, manufacturers have re-engineered toilets to
perform properly with a 1.6-gallon flush, said Diane Fish of Dahl
Plumbing. Consumers now have three main choices, all low-flow: a
modified gravity-flush system, similar to old toilets;
pressure-assisted, highly effective, but noisy; and electric,
pump-assisted, powerful and quiet, but more expensive.
Fish said new low-flow toilet designs work well, even those that
still rely on gravity. These remain the cheapest and most popular,
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