The recent "New York Times" headline "Thin Snowpack Signals Summer of Drought" has us thinking about household water guzzlers. The No. 1 culprit? Your toilet.
One of the thirstiest fixtures in a home, toilets are estimated to be responsible for upwards of 30 percent of household water consumption. And those predating the 1992 restrictions of 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf) are especially inefficient. Thanks to technological advances, a new breed of toilets offers increased efficiency and performance (early adopters may still wince at the less-than-stellar flushing capabilities of the early high-efficiency models). Consider replacing an older model with a WaterSense certified toilet to reduce water consumption and lower your costs. The featured toilets meet EPA flushing guidelines of 1.28 gpf or less, using over 20 percent less water than the recently touted 1.6 gpf models.
Above: Izabella recently installed the sleek high efficiency Kohler Persuade Toilet in her guest bath. The two-piece vitreous china toilet with an elongated bowl features a top-mounted flushing button that offer the choice of 0.8 or 1.6 gallons per flush. Note that the seat is sold separately; $315.68 through Amazon. Photograph by Izabella Simmons.
Above: New in the Toto line of high efficiency toilets is the Toto Drake II Close Coupled Toilet, which offers a 1.0-gallon-per-flush operation using the company's Double Cyclone® technology ("a state-of-the-art, hole-free rim design that offers a dual-nozzle bowl cleansing system that creates a centrifugal, cyclonic cleaning action"). It also features a Sana-gloss coating on the chinaware surface that is a super smooth, ion barrier glazing to keep the toilet bowl clean; $342.20 at Homeclick.
Above: From Australian-based Caroma, the Sydney Smart 305 Dual Flush Toilet is a one-piece high efficiency toilet that offers a 0.8 and 1.28 gallon per flush option, boasting an average 0.89 gpf for water savings; $239 at the Natural Abode.
Above: Duravit's Starck 3 Two-Piece Toilet (Model D19062) has an elongated seat and syphonic jet action. It offers a 1.28 gallon per flush and is made of high-performance ceramic; $322.50 for the complete set at eFaucets.
Above: The American Standard Clean High Efficiency Elongated Two-Piece Toilet receives the highest marks in the Watersense 1.28 gpf category from Consumer Reports. Made of vitreous china, it features a siphon action jetted bowl and an Everclean surface; $239 at Lowe's.
Above: The Niagara Conservation Stealth Toilet offers an 0.8 gallons per flush operation, saving 37 percent more water than regular high-efficiency toilets. Made of vitreous china, this ultra high-efficiency toilet uses a vacuum-assist flushing mechanism for flush performance with very low noise; $175.26 (for the round seat model) at Plumber's Surplus.
Ready to embrace modern toilet technology? Having recently visited Japan, home of high-tech toilets, I am seriously considering investing in The Best Seat in the House.