U.S. Water News Online
SALT LAKE CITY -- Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District
officials have pronounced their pilot program in which they replaced
275 old toilets with ``ultra-low flush'' models was a success.
``What we've done here for the very first time in the state of
Utah is to show that replacing toilets can be a cost-effective means
of reducing indoor water use,'' said Bart Forsyth, an assistant
The district said replacing an old toilet saves, on average, at
least 20 gallons of water per day.
Over 20 years, the $52,000 pilot program would save about 123 acre
feet of water. That represents a capital cost of about $420 per acre
foot of water saved.
While that is more expensive than the $150 per acre foot cost of
federally funded water projects, such as the Central Utah Project, it
compares favorably with future projects, water officials contend.
Forsyth said the cost-effectiveness of replacing toilets actually
may be higher. He said the preliminary calculation was based on flush
volume alone and does not include leaks from the outdated commodes.
The old toilets were found to use an average of 4.15 gallons per
flush. The new toilets use about 1.6 gallons per flush.
The district has received about 20 complaints from families using
the new toilets. Most of them were resolved with minor adjustments to
the toilets, the district said.
The district is hoping to expand the toilet-replacement program
this year and replace three times as many as during the pilot
project. The proposal will be presented to the Jordan Valley board
later this spring.
Modeled after one in San Diego, the expansion program would allow
residents anywhere in Jordan Valley's district, which includes most
of western and southern Salt Lake County, to buy a $100 voucher that
will cover purchase and installation of a district-approved toilet.
The program would not include customers of Salt Lake City's Public
Utilities Department, which is focusing its conservation efforts on
rate restructuring and outdoor watering restrictions.
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