Press Room - Press Release

For the Media

4/27/2004

10 Years After Low-Flow Toilet Regulations Went Into Effect, Plumbing Innovations Make Major Inroads in Efficiency, Flushability

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (April 27, 2004) – Ten years after the nation’s low-flow toilet regulations went into effect, the U.S. is saving more water every day, with the potential to save billions of gallons more in the next decade and beyond. And while toilet manufacturers continue to develop new technologies that make low-flow toilets more efficient, they also are fast increasing customer satisfaction. Among the innovators is American Standard, the world’s largest manufacturer of kitchen and bath products, which recently introduced the Champion®, a toilet that conserves water while offering virtually no clogs.

One small drop of water regulation, one giant flush for mankind
In an effort to save water and increase efficiency in municipal wastewater systems, the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct) was signed into law. Prior to this law, U.S. consumers were happy with their water-guzzling toilets, yet these fixtures were among the most water-consuming appliances in many homes, using anywhere from 3.5 gallons to 5 gallons per flush. In 1994, EPAct went into effect, requiring that all residential toilets be manufactured using the 1.6-gallons-per-flush standard.

Early on, toilets underwent considerable changes. While the majority of toilets worked well and did save water, some consumers were not satisfied with the performance of these new toilets. Driven by anecdotal complaints that household toilets simply didn’t work, some lawmakers even urged repeal of the federal law, albeit unsuccessfully. What consumers were saying was that they wanted to be 100 percent confident that their toilets would get the job done in one flush, every time. Manufacturers listened and continued to strive for improvements, and today the worry-free 1.6-gallon toilet is becoming a reality.

High-efficiency toilets today
Here are just some of the most recent inroads in toilet re-engineering:

High-tech tanks: The old floating-ball-and-chain system is giving way to new flushing technology. For example, American Standard eliminated the typical tank flapper valve altogether and replaced it with an exclusive Flush Tower™ that is designed to forcefully release 1.6 gallons of water per flush in under a second. Named America’s Best™ Flushing System, the technology was first installed in the recently introduced Champion Toilet.

Huge high-flow flush valves: While style and size of flush valves vary in today’s models, the Flush Tower inside the Champion toilet employs a specially designed inlet along with a large, three-inch-diameter opening to increase efficiency and maximize flush performance.

Oversized trapway: The newest toilets are made with extra-large internal passageways that have no choke points to trap waste. Sizes vary with the manufacturer.

Water regulations: How are they working?
Here are some results since the Energy Policy Act went into effect:

Household usage. The American Water Works Association Research Foundation concluded in 1999 that low-flow toilets in 12 cities saved an average of 10.5 gallons per person daily.

Municipal usage. Residential 1.6-gallon toilets were estimated to reduce toilet water use by 23 percent to 46 percent in studies conducted in a number of cities including Tampa, Phoenix, Austin and Oakland, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Environmental impact. According to the EPA, use of water-efficient plumbing fixtures and appliances helps to maintain aquatic habitats; restore wetlands and fisheries; protect groundwater from depletion and contamination; and reduce the amount of energy used to pump, heat and treat drinking water and to pump and treat wastewater.

The billion-gallon bonus: Nationally, the use of low-flow toilets through new construction and normal replacements is preliminarily estimated to save in excess of 7.6 billion gallons of water per day by 2020. This savings is nearly 19 percent of the total amount of water supplied to U.S. public water systems in 1995, according to the EPA.

“Ten years after the water efficiency regulations went into effect, the Champion Toilet is at last providing consumers with a 1.6-gallon toilet that is both water-efficient, as the regulation intended, and virtually maintenance-free,” says Laurie Breininger, vice president and general manager of American Standard bath and kitchen.

For more information on America’s Best Flushing System and to see an online demonstration, visit www.bestflush.com. The Champion Toilet is available at wholesale locations and at retailers nationwide. Suggested retail price is approximately $325 to $400. Information on this and other American Standard products is also available at (800) 899-2614.

For more information on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Water Use Efficiency Program, visit www.epa.gov.

SIDEBAR:
America’s Best™ Flushing System Technology Firsts

In a true technological breakthrough, American Standard has reinvented toilet flushing with America’s Best™ Flushing System, installed for the first time in the Champion® Toilet. Extensive hydraulic research and engineering led to a dramatic redesign that virtually eliminates what consumers have long hated about toilets—clogs, overflows, plunging, handle jiggling, wasted water and expensive toilet repairs. The Champion meets consumer demand for a powerful, maintenance-free toilet that does its work with just one flush. Technological exclusives:

Exclusive Flush Tower™: American Standard removed the typical toilet tank’s floating-ball-and-chain system altogether and replaced it with a proprietary Flush Tower that is designed to forcefully release 1.6 gallons of water per flush in under a second. A tight silicone seal functions in place of the corrodible rubber flapper.

Extra-Large Flush Valve: An extra-large flush valve—three inches in diameter and 50 percent larger than the industry standard of two inches—allows water to enter the bowl faster and more powerfully, yet it’s as quiet as any other gravity-fed toilet.

Extra-Large Trapway: The toilet’s siphon trapway has no choke points, allowing more volume per flush and eliminating the need for plungers. At 2-3/8 inches, it is the largest trapway in the industry.

Ten-Year Warranty: America’s Best Flushing System is so advanced, American Standard backs Champion—inside, outside and everything in the tank—with an unheard-of 10-year Worry-Free™ Decade Warranty. This is the most comprehensive warranty in the industry.

To request visuals of America’s Best Flushing System, please contact Lindsey Rose at (612) 375-8516, lrose@clynch.com.

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