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In the late 70's there was a couple year drought in CA that was pretty scary. One saying from the time gives a good indication of the general mindset.
"It's it's brown, flush it down. If it's yellow, let it mellow."
Restaurants stopped serving water unless asked for. The logic was that a used glass would need washing which used a lot more water than the 8 oz. poured into the glass.

Among other things, the legislature passed a bill mandating 3.5 gpf (low flush) toilets. At the time most toilets used 5 gallons per flush. Some older ones as much as 9 gpf.
The first generation of these P.O.S's were worthless. They didn't flush worth a damn.
Plumbingware manufacturers were in such a hurry to comply, they didn't bother to go back to the drawing board to design from scratch. They did it the easy way be fiddling around with add ons to existing technology and CA consumers were stuck with being beta testers.

One of the ironies of low consumption faucets and fixtures is that our waste systems were originally designed (thank you Mr. Hunter et. al.) to handle quite a bit more flow per capita than what goes down the drain now. Fortunately, the model codes are finally addressing this discrepancy. The 2021 UPC will reflect an increase in the maximum number of 6 unit traps on a 3" line, courtesy of a code change proposal from yours truly.
 

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Most restaurants in my area have been serving water only on request. I think some stopped that after the flooding following the Camp Fire though. And yeah, times have changed for plumbing fixtures. I just saw a toilet kit at Ferguson that was a 0.8 gallon flush. And most stores up here have those waterless urinals.
 

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Most restaurants in my area have been serving water only on request. I think some stopped that after the flooding following the Camp Fire though. And yeah, times have changed for plumbing fixtures. I just saw a toilet kit at Ferguson that was a 0.8 gallon flush. And most stores up here have those waterless urinals.



Waterless urinals are GARBAGE!!! I would like to punch every person in the face who got them installed in our area.


Waterless urinals are disgusting and clog frequently. If any maintenance guy wants to keep them running they quickly end up not being waterless urinals because buckets of water get dumped down them several times a day. I have installed several water spigots under lav sinks and sold them washer hoses.



We don't have a shortage of water with the exception of maybe two customers. And one of those two customers is a commercial property that could easily make use of a grey water system aka gutter drain fed buried concrete cistern. Instead they spend loads of money on unclogging their waterless urinals and run the well dry every time a flapper or fill valve fails which is often because they have so much crap in their water. I have even had several of those kohler flush cans break because of the mineral build up and the plastic becoming brittle, presumably from the sulphur in the water? No other customer of ours has this issue with those flush cans.




















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We have tons of 4" cast iron and orangeburg around here so every time someone gets rid of old faithful they start having issues till they learn to multi flush.

99% of our customers have wells and septic systems. It's essentially a closed system and no water is wasted.






















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We have tons of 4" cast iron and orangeburg around here so every time someone gets rid of old faithful they start having issues till they learn to multi flush.

99% of our customers have wells and septic systems. It's essentially a closed system and no water is wasted..
You have the luxury of having a reliably plentiful water source. There are many places in North America which do not. Saving water by limiting gpf is a low hanging fruit. Other means of increasing the water supply or decreasing demand are available. Desalination, deep well pumping or use restrictions all would have greater yields, but at what cost.
When our legislators start to proscribe societal behavior there can be unintended circumstances.

If your well were sharing the same aquifer as my septic tank, would you call that a closed system?
 

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You have the luxury of having a reliably plentiful water source. There are many places in North America which do not. Saving water by limiting gpf is a low hanging fruit. Other means of increasing the water supply or decreasing demand are available. Desalination, deep well pumping or use restrictions all would have greater yields, but at what cost.
When our legislators start to proscribe societal behavior there can be unintended circumstances.

If your well were sharing the same aquifer as my septic tank, would you call that a closed system?





Yes, I know it is a luxury. But I also know that it "costs" a lot more to drive my 11mpg van to your house to unclog your whatever because you're not using enough water. What's the environmental "cost" of me driving around all day unclogging drains?








Also, if MY septic tank went into the same aquifer as MY well, which it does, than it would be a "closed system". Our leach fields rely on percolation, not evaporation. Most of our effluent is filtered as it percolates and then ends up coming out of our wells.


Some septic effluents get pumped to the city sewer. Some houses have wells and city sewer. Some houses have city water but also a septic system. All of these are much less common than having a well and a standard septic system in my area.






Instead of paying me to unclog their main waste line because they have a low flush toilet they could put solar panels on the roof and pump some more water. But that kind of solution isn't simple enough for the generally lazy and dumb public.












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That's the ONLY argument on low flow fixtures. As long as 100% of water is returned then why low flow? Either septic or sewage treatment plant returns water 100%.



This is why shower heads have easy to remove restrictors. Same with spring-flo aerators. :biggrin:


When I get a customer who has the mind to handle it, I explain to them that if they want a good toilet to find one with a 2" flapper and an oversized tank, and to buy a pro57 flush valve at the same time. Add one big orange flapper and it's almost as good as a mid-eighties AS.












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I don't understand why more new houses don't have cisterns like the good old days. Especially in california in the areas that don't freeze.



Where I live there are many old homes that have buried 1000 gallon concrete cisterns with a hand pump on top in the yard. The gutter drains feed it and there would have been a piston pump in the basement sucking out of it.


While this idea disgusts me for drinking water there is no reason you couldn't hook this up to only feed the toilets. Add in a check on the grey line, a backflow preventer and prv on the domestic side and you have a simple grey water system with domestic back up.


Even if it does sound gross we actually have more than a comfortable number of customers with gravity spring fed cisterns in their basements. Some have added uv lights but most haven't. This one woman, 80 years old, said she lived in the house her whole life and the water's always been great. I bet her immune system is like fort knox because the basement floor is the top of the cistern.



:sick:







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That's the ONLY argument on low flow fixtures. As long as 100% of water is returned then why low flow? Either septic or sewage treatment plant returns water 100%.

COST $$$$$$......it takes big money to process raw sewage....so it all plays together..claim water shortage and charge more for water and at the same time reduce your costs for treating sewage...
 

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Legislators legislate. They can tax water to bring the cost per acre foot to the point where people would see the benefit of best practices to save water, or they can mandate low flow fixtures. Only the first option could get their arses voted out of office. It's a no brainer for them. They can claim they are doing something to save a precious recourse and the cost is hit and miss enough that they don't feel the repercussions.


As far as the extra maintenance cost for low flow goes, with time the infrastructure with adapt. The premium paid by those with old pipes is unfortunately peripheral damage.
 

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COST $$$$$$......it takes big money to process raw sewage....so it all plays together..claim water shortage and charge more for water and at the same time reduce your costs for treating sewage...
Costs not part of the discussion. Low flow toilets in areas with plenty of water are not the miracle cure to water consumption. Sewage gets treated then released back into the river. Gallon in, gallon out.
 

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Costs not part of the discussion. Low flow toilets in areas with plenty of water are not the miracle cure to water consumption. Sewage gets treated then released back into the river. Gallon in, gallon out.



yes it is..COST is the reason for low consumption toilets...under the guise of water conservation...
 

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yes it is..COST is the reason for low consumption toilets...under the guise of water conservation...



It's not cost in the example I gave. One house with it's own well and septic system. More water than a 1.6gpf toilet will provide makes for a better performing system, especially when they don't have plastic piping.




I had a house friday, the new toilet in the renovated corner of the house keeps clogging and the brand new 3" no-hub running about 12' to old 4" cast keeps clogging. Not enough water. It's a full bath off the entry and they only crap in it so of course that schit piles up and never gets washed out because 1.6gpf is not enough water if all you're using is the toilet.


You take a dump and by the time you take a piss even if you flush only water the load from before doesn't budge much at all because it has been sitting.













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The worst is a senior who only gets sponge baths, pisses in diapers, and only uses the toilet for #2. They often use excessive toilet paper. They live alone with only aides coming to see them who don't want to use their toilet when they are there.

I have had situations like this lead to 50' of 4" pipe being filled with solids. It takes hours to snake a line like that. Even 3" pvc or abs in a situation like this will clog.


There needs to be a special permit so you can buy an ADA elongated toilet that uses 3.5gpf. Let them require the plumbing or health inspector to sign off on the sale and use. There are people who need such a toilet. Give the things serial numbers so you don't end up with a black market. Make the glaze pink for all I care.










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It's not cost in the example I gave. One house with it's own well and septic system. More water than a 1.6gpf toilet will provide makes for a better performing system, especially when they don't have plastic piping.




I had a house friday, the new toilet in the renovated corner of the house keeps clogging and the brand new 3" no-hub running about 12' to old 4" cast keeps clogging. Not enough water. It's a full bath off the entry and they only crap in it so of course that schit piles up and never gets washed out because 1.6gpf is not enough water if all you're using is the toilet.


You take a dump and by the time you take a piss even if you flush only water the load from before doesn't budge much at all because it has been sitting.













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ill say that if you have your own well and septic it doesnt matter on water or waste as its a closed system of your own, but my statement applies to anyone on public water and sewer..
 

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The worst is a senior who only gets sponge baths, pisses in diapers, and only uses the toilet for #2. They often use excessive toilet paper. They live alone with only aides coming to see them who don't want to use their toilet when they are there.

I have had situations like this lead to 50' of 4" pipe being filled with solids. It takes hours to snake a line like that. Even 3" pvc or abs in a situation like this will clog.


There needs to be a special permit so you can buy an ADA elongated toilet that uses 3.5gpf. Let them require the plumbing or health inspector to sign off on the sale and use. There are people who need such a toilet. Give the things serial numbers so you don't end up with a black market. Make the glaze pink for all I care.










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that will never happen....just tell them to flush twice or three times to get all the crap down line....
untill they design a system that can handle low flush blockages will just be job security for the drain guys...
common sense doesnt exist when politicians make laws or regulations...only if it sounds good to the ear..it doesnt have to work...
 

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that will never happen....just tell them to flush twice or three times to get all the crap down line....
untill they design a system that can handle low flush blockages will just be job security for the drain guys...
common sense doesnt exist when politicians make laws or regulations...only if it sounds good to the ear..it doesnt have to work...
Right on. Many seniors won't remember to flush twice, or won't believe you that it is necessary. Let the drain cleaners who don't mind doing that job have the money. I don't want more government regulation even if it is something that may never affect me.
 

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Legislators legislate. They can tax water to bring the cost per acre foot to the point where people would see the benefit of best practices to save water, or they can mandate low flow fixtures. Only the first option could get their arses voted out of office. It's a no brainer for them. They can claim they are doing something to save a precious recourse and the cost is hit and miss enough that they don't feel the repercussions.


As far as the extra maintenance cost for low flow goes, with time the infrastructure with adapt. The premium paid by those with old pipes is unfortunately peripheral damage.
Or....... people could stop moving to where they don't have any water! Not that I want them to move to where I live, where we have plenty. First step might be to stop immigration altogether. We don't need more people, and the ones they're bringing in are not the traditional eastern Europeans with the culture and values that want to work and add something to this country, it is just those who want to take from it and change it.
 
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