There are many ways in which we are supposed to conserve our resources, save the environment and move towards a sustainable planet and I generally support these moves but not all are as effective as they are said to be. From wind turbines that need to be backed up by other means of generation because they have no storage capacity to some urban centers banning the use of a renewable fuel (wood) forcing folks to use a non renewable fuel (oil or gas). Such things are open to debate as to their overall contribution to both sustainability and fighting climate change, it all depends upon your point of view.
When it comes to water conservation which could become a more
pressing issue with the drought / flood cycles that seem to be an
increasing reality its the same kind of trade off. Here in SW Ontario
a recent news article pointed out the millions of gallons of water
that bottling companys take from our ground water at a minuscule cost
per litre to put in plastic bottles only some of which are recycled.
In my own case I have recently become aware of another mandated
water conservation move that simply does not work.
Simply put, low flush toilets do not save water when you must
flush them 2 or three times to remove the waste! The only thing I can
say about our 4l low flush toilet is that I wish I could flush it
down the toilet! At first I thought that there was something wrong
with said situpon but upon examination and cleaning the flush holes
around the rim (the first thing to do if toilet becomes slow to
flush), removing the unit and checking for plugged pipes or other
build up I finding nothing obviously wrong. Next move was to increase
the volume of water per flush, the tank level was adjustable for less
water but not more but manually filling it as high as possible proved
that with sufficient water it worked .....most times. Part of the
problen appears to be the almost 3 feet of bends and twists in the
pipe on the toilet BEFORE it even gets to the sewer pipe, presumably
to try and make the damned thing flush on insufficient water volume.
There seems to be just enough water to move the waste from bowl to
this maze of pipe (sometimes) but not down the pipe to the septic
tank so that in the next use its partially plugged and its plunger
Wishing I had never replaced the old toilet I went on line looking
fo a full flush toilet, apparently there is no longer such a thing in
North America it now being illegal to manufacture a toilet that uses
more than 6 litres .....shit! It appears from the hundreds (if not
1000s) of complaints on line by both customers and plumbers looking
for solutions that I am far from the only one with this problem.
Although it would indeed save water I am not really keen on using
the old outhouse down the bottom of the garden so will just continue
my efforts to modify the tank float level and keep the plunger handy
but to say that I am not impressed with this water saving devise is
putting it mildly!
I note that looking at the model number that it is a “4L flush”,
not something I was looking at or aware of when I bought it, with
modifications to the float mechanism and the overflow tube it is now
closer to an “8L flush” and has greatly improved its waste removal if
not 'water saving' qualities!
A longtime rural resident, I use my 60 plus years of life learning to opinionate here and elsewhere on the “interweb” on everything from politics to environmental issues. A believer in reasonable discourse rather than unhelpful attacks I try to give positive input to the blogesphere, so feel free to comment upon rural issues or anything else posted here. But don’t be surprised if you comments get zapped if you are not polite in your replys.