Canadian Lab Names Low-Flow Toilets that Work

toilet_test_rackIf you’ve ever lived with a water-saver toilet, you know they don’t always work as well as they should. In fact, many of the original models didn’t even save water very effectively. That was what got Bill Gauley into the toilet performance rating business back in the mid-1990s. Out of curiosity he measured the amount of water actually consumed by a new toilet he bought in the 1990s. Finding that it used four liters more than the claimed 6 liters per flush, he took a closer look at other toilets.

Bill Gauley’s findings proved many of the so-called ‘water-saver’ toilets on the market:

  • Used 50% to 75% more water than claimed.
  • Delivered the kind of reluctant flushing that makes parents furious with their teenage sons.

With funding from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) as well as both Canadian and American municipalities, Gauley’s Ontario-based company, Veritec Consulting, influences toilet manufacturers and environmentally-conscious municipal leaders across North America for one simple reason:

  • Veritec findings are absolutely reliable, shining the light of truth on real-world toilet performance and giving consumers the unbiased information they need to select toilets that work and actually save water. With information like this, the good old forces of supply and demand do the rest.

Water Wasting Champions of the Globe

  • toilet_mediaCanada is one of the few developed nations that still allow sales of water-wasting 13 litre toilets.
  • They’ve been outlawed for at least a decade in the United States, Europe, South America and Australia.
  • Canada has no excuse. And while it’s disappointing that our governments have taken only baby steps to reverse our dubious distinction as water wasting champions of the globe, at least our private sector is leading the way. And they’re doing it with soybean paste.

Veritec Toilet Lab Testing:

Magic Threshold

  • Toilets that enter the Veritec lab for testing all face the same technical challenge: to prove how much feces-like extruded soybean paste they can actually flush away cleanly.
  • The only thing more surprising than the repulsive appearance of soybean paste is the wide variety of toilet performances that emerge from lab analysis.
  • Veritec testing is an ongoing process, and that means the ratings list is always changing as manufacturers scramble to meet the magic 250-gram threshold.
  • That’s the amount of simulated waste (called “media” for reasons I’m told have nothing to do with journalists) that must be flushed away reliably for a toilet to be considered worthy of meeting the rigours of everyday use.
  • Many toilets on the market right now fall woefully below that level, and with little excuse.
  • The current champion, a Japanese-made toilet called the Toto Drake, reliably blasts away 900-gram whoppers with its simple, gravity-fed system.
  • You can go online and view the complete Veritec toilet performance report, including current ratings.

Low-flow Toilets Go the Distance

  • lo-flow_toilet_labelAnd for those big-flush diehards who still claim low-flow toilets don’t use enough water to transport waste reliably along drain lines, there’s more information.
  • New Veritec testing shows that even the most frugal residential toilets have no trouble delivering their load of goodies along 40 to 60 feet of waste pipe out to municipal sewers.
  • That’s way more than necessary to get stuff where it needs to go, proving that there’s simply no reason to use anything other than a well-designed low-flow toilet these days.

Now if we could only get Canadian provinces to follow the leadership that the rest of the world has taken from our own research, we’d really have something to be proud of.

Posted on November 21st, 2010