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.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Full of it....

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 time (again).

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!

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