Provincial Government to Can the Use of 13 Litre Toilets – Green News – by Richard Komorowski – Cornwall Ontario – April 28, 2010

Provincial Government to Can the Use of 13 Litre Toilets

Cornwall ON – Ontarians currently use about 260 litres of water per day – nearly twice as much as the UK and Germany, countries with similar standards of living. The Ontario Government is planning to introduce legislation under the Green Energy Act to reduce this amount.

The provincial government is about to ban the sale of the older style, wasteful, 13 litre flush toilets – in the future, only the 6 litre models will be available.

Toilet flushing accounts for 30% of in-home water use. Replacing a 13 litre toilet with a 6 litre one could save an average household around 35,000 litres per year. According to Ontario Energy and Infrastructure Minister Brad Duguid, “reducing the water we use in our daily lives achieves the dual benefit of conserving water and energy.”

Pumping and distributing water to homes and businesses and treating water and wastewater takes between a third and a half of a municipality’s electric consumption, roughly double that of street lighting.

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  1. If its yellow, leave it mellow, if its brown, flush it down! Great motto to live by if you own a 13 litre toilet! 😀

  2. It is time to have water meters for everyone. That way you would be flushing your own money down the drain and not your neighbours.

  3. Jerry you’d be doing that anyway and what’s the point of a water meter when more water leaks out of the pipes before it gets to your house than you waste? With improvements like this, legitimate education of the public; most of whom support water conservation and a few simple surtaxes, like on swimming pools do we really need such a negative item for Cornwall as Water Meters which have a clear history of not saving the taxpayer any money?

    I think not.

  4. Pumping, distrubuting and treating water and wastewater should cost more than lighting. We need safe water. You need storage and 2 sets of pipes first of all. But when you flush 13 litres, does that not go back through sewage pipes to storage for cleaning? Then does most of it not go back to the river from where it came?

    People on well and septic are not wasting water either, most goes back into the water table.

    Water meters are used to make more money so the government does not need to actually provide cost effective service, from my view.

  5. Just to clarify a few points here:
    First, if we use less water, it costs less to purify and pump the clean water into the water mains for distribution to houses. There is a cost saving here.
    The second point is that when we flush our toilets with a few lumps of poo, this all eventually finds its way to the sewage treatment plant, where these few lumps of poo need to be separated from the otherwise clean water. This also takes energy (i.e. electricity), for which the tax-payer must foot the bill. It costs less to separate 6 litres of water from this poo than it does to separate 13 litres, and the process itself can be more efficient. The water returned to the river is by no means clean (it would take second and third stage treatment to achieve this), but 6 litres of bacteria laden water is a lot better than 13.
    Some other jurisdictions that have introduced water meters have found that they do indeed conserve water – however, as their revenues have declined, they have raised water rates to make up for the shortfall. Yes, there’s some benefit to the environment, but the net benefit to the citizen/consumer has been zero.
    The logical solution for a town like Cornwall would be to maintain the present water rate system, and encourage the replacement of 13 litre toilets with 6 litre models. The revenue would remain the same, however, the cost of running the system would be less (especially as electricity is only going to go up), and the savings would more than offset the cost of a subsidy for the replacement of toilets.
    Keep in mind that the province has long been subsidizing the cost of upgrading energy inefficient appliances (e.g. old style central air conditioners) with new, energy efficient models.

  6. The amount of money coming in will not be the same if water use is lessened because sewage rates are 113% of water paid for. Will that be enough from savings of filtration?

    Less money coming in will mean a tax hike, because governments seem to be in the job creation business.

    The comment about water meters saving water, to me that means the poor will use less because they have no more money to give. Which leads to another issue, governments and union workers seem to get raises each year by charging taxpayers more. This taxpayer has no more to give, and have cut right back on things like resturants, who provide work etc.

  7. Eric, it’s not just governments that feed at the trough, unions do too! If you have no more to give then I’m sure they’ll cut doing something to make up for the shortfall.

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