Ultimate Guide to Low-flow Toilets

Low-flow Toilets Around the World

The United States is not the only country that has discovered the advantages of low-flow toilets. Australia mandates that all new toilets sold be dual flush. Sweden has restricted new toilets to low-flow (1.6 gallons/6 liters per flush) for many years. However, Canada still allows older style toilets (using 3.5 gallons/13.2 liters of water or more per flush) to be sold. But Ontario requires that all new construction have low-flow toilets.

In the United States, city and state governments are moving to even tougher legislation on toilets. In California, a bill signed into law in 2007 requires that all toilets sold and installed in California after Jan. 1, 2014, be high efficiency toilets. Other states like Georgia and Texas and cities like New York have considered similar requirements. In DeKalb Country, Ga., near Atlanta, legislation requires low-flow toilets in all older homes sold on the real estate market. And many consumer advocates say that even more restrictions on toilets will eventually be written into federal law, requiring that all new toilets be high efficiency models.

To make it easier to buy a low-flow toilet, many utilities and cities are offering significant rebates and vouchers to those who buy them. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, for instance, offers rebates valued at up to $165 for those who buy a high efficiency toilet. In Pasadena, Calif., Pasadena Water and Power offers a $265 rebate to owners of commercial and multi-family dwellings who purchase dual flush high efficiency toilets. DeKalb County in Georgia pays $50 to $100 per toilet to homeowners who buy low-flow toilets, up to three toilets per home.