Going With the Flow--1.6 gpf Toilets That Work
). So, are there low-flow toilets that work, and if so, how can they be identified? The answer is a resounding “yes” to the first question and “help is on the way” to the second. There are two ways to identify toilets that work. The first is through standardized testing—a responsibility that falls to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). ASME’s standards committee A112 – Plumbing Materials and Equipment currently has a Project Team 19.6 (Hydraulic Performance for Water Closets and Urinals) working on new minimum performance standards for the “flushability” of toilets—standards that are specifically referenced in the federal legislation. Mr. Thomas Konen, chair of the ASME Project Team, told EBN that “the hydraulic performance of the 1.6 toilets is so different from the 3.5’s that new standards are definitely needed. We are just getting back test results now that I am confident will result in new and better standards of performance.” Manufacturers have been testing the new standards—there are issues such as the variability of results and the best test media to simulate human waste and the wide range of tissues used. Project Team 19.6 met in Washington, D.C. in mid-August and approved new standards for ASME balloting. The advantage of this type of performance assurance is that, if they are stringent enough, the ASME minimum performance standards will force adequate flushability upon all toilets by federal mandate. The disadvantage is that, if the standards are not rigorous enough, poor performers may remain in the marketplace. ...