The Wyoming High-Flow Toilet Scam

Hat-Tip to Amy Oliver for this.  According to the Denver Post, utility managers are pushing to outlaw at a state level that which is already outlawed at a federal level: your normal, regular, works-with-one-flush toilet.  You wouldn’t actually have to trade it your working toilet for the hobbled version, but according to the proposed law, “manufacturers could not sell” regular toilets.

The water savings wouldn’t be trivial, but are mostly notional: two generations from now it could amount to enough for 88,000 families of four.  What population and use numbers went into that estimate, the Post doesn’t say.  Even now, that’s barely 5% of the population, when home water use accounts for less than half of total consumption.  And while the article notes that Denver’s sewage system functions less efficiently with lower flow, the operating costs of that inefficiency (both monetary and aquiferous), and the capital expense required to mitigate, go unmentioned.

Aside from the article’s shoddy economics, there’s also the incentive system it sets up.  There’s already quite a grey market in regular toilets from housing projects (friends of mine were careful to preserve theirs when they remodeled a few years ago), and this will only make it worse.  The ban would apply to manufacturers, not individuals or remodelers, so no doubt, there will soon be calls to “close the Home-Fixtures Show Loophole.”  And at least until the big boys move in, and add another layer of middle-men to the process, you’ll see wild-eyed dreamers thinking up schemes like this.


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