pottygirl’s 2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 19,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 4 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Plunger or Brush?

During my very first visit to the US (during my honeymoon, to be precise) I had my very first, very embarrassing experience with a plunger. After all, it happened at my mother-in-law’s house. As it happened again at a hotel in Las Vegas a few years later, I still didn’t understand why I clog a toilet in the US, but never have before in Germany.

I moved to the US many years later and bought an older home. As the drought in Georgia worsened in 2007, I noticed that the toilets in our home used 3.5 gallons for each flush. I started looking around in home improvement stores and was stunned that all toilets available used 1.6 gallons for each flush. As toilets with the option of using very little water for flushing No. 1 have been available in Germany  for a very long time, I could not believe I couldn’t find them here. So after much research, I finally found Caroma Dual Flush toilets and decided to spread the word and help Georgians flushing less water and money down the toilet. After I learned why Caroma toilets work so well with very little water, I realized why American toilets clog. So finally, 16 years later I realized that there was nothing wrong with me, or my diet, that I clogged a toilet on my honeymoon!

Standard US toilets clear the bowl with siphon technology, so the waste in the bowl gets pulled into the drain and out into the trap way. In order to create this siphon action, the trap way needs to be as narrow as possible, usually around 2 to 2 3/4 inches. You can see how siphon vs. washdown technology works here

Although most of the time this flushing method gets rid of the waste efficiently, there is a tendency for blockages to occur in the toilet trap way.

Australian and European designed toilets use a wash down method which “pushes” the waste down, instead of “pulling” it. This is why European toilets have a larger diameter trap way which results in less clogging.

One drawback of wash down toilets is the smaller water spot in the bowl, which can result in “skid marks” happening on occasion. So it really comes down to a matter of personal preference. If you are comfortable with getting out a plunger to unclog your toilet every now and again, then stick with an American style toilet. If you have issues with clogged toilets and don’t mind using a toilet brush every now and then an Australian or European style model may work better for you.

Venice, FL toilet rebate program

Living Green: Venice toilet rebate program.

Living Green: Venice toilet rebate program

Reported by: Scott Dennis
Email: sdennis@mysuncoast.com
Last Update: 7/24 6:09 pm

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VENICE – You may have some water hogs inside your home and not even know it.  Older toilets can use three or more gallons per flush.  New models or low flow toilets, use only 1.6 gallons or less.  That can really add up over time and there’s no excuse now not to replace those water hogs if you live in the City of Venice.

The “City on the Gulf” is offering an opportunity to save the water that fills this tower and to keep your hard earned money from being flushed down the toilet.

Venice now offering a rebate of up to $100 to replace an older, high flow toilet that needs at least three gallons per flush.  There’s a limit of two per customer.  The city’s Utilities Director says there’s a big need for this rebate program.
“We’ve got a lot of old, high flow fixtures out there. Venice is an older city, Sarasota is too, but in Venice, we’re trying to encourage folks to look for additional ways to curb their water use, either now over over time,” says Len Bramble, Venice Director of Utilities.

Our toilets tend to last a long time.  All we have to do is occasionally replace the components inside to keep it flushing for years, even decades.  But here’s an incentive that will help you save water and pay less on your utility bill for years to come.  “Think about it over the course of a month or a year, or five years or ten years. Most of us keep those fixtures for a long time,” says Bramble.

Don’t forget, there are also dual flush toilets available now that use even less water for number one.  For more information on the City of Venice’s toilet replacement rebate program, visit the city’s website.

Other Suncoast communities have similar programs.  Check with your local government.

Caroma’s 2011 “One Flush Makes a Difference” Promotion – 50% off MSRP

http://www.caromausa.com/2011/02/09/2011_one_flush_makes_a_difference_50_off_promotion.php

2011 “One Flush Makes a Difference” Promotion

Caroma’s 50% off promotion is back! Last year’s promotion was a huge success and this year we’re once again inviting customers to receive a coupon for 50% off the list price of any qualifying Caroma toilet or sink at participating reseller locations*. The 2011 “One Flush Makes a Difference” promotion honors Earth Month and helps bring awareness to all that Caroma does to promote water-efficiency. You have until June 30, 2011 to participate in the promotion and receive 50 % off the list price of any qualifying Caroma toilet or sink.

Can One Flush Make a Difference?

Absolutely! In the United States federal law requires that new toilets must not exceed 1.6 gallons of water per flush (gpf). The high efficiency toilet (HET) category has set a standard in North America with 1.28 gallons per flush (gpf). Caroma’s HET’s go even further: The average flush of the toilets in Caroma’s standard collection is 1.06 gpf, while the Smart Series features an industry breaking 0.96 gpf!

Just think. If just one person uses a high efficiency toilet for one year then they will save around 330 gallons of water (based on the average three times a day flush). Further, if your toilet is from the 1980s, when new toilets were regulated to use 3.5 gallons of water per flush, you would save 2,410 gallons per year by switching to a HET toilet!

The numbers simply add up. If five people replaced their old 3.5 gpf toilet, over 12,000 gallons of water or the equivalent of 300 20-minute showers would be saved. One flush does make a difference, but if 2,000 people with new toilets switched to a HET toilet, in one year you would be able to fill an Olympic sized swimming pool with the water saved: 660,430 gallons! If 822 people using the old 3.5 gpf toilets changed to a Caroma HET toilet, we could fill an Olympic pool with the water saved!

Start Saving. Now you can save money and water at the same time with Caroma’s “One Flush Makes a Difference” 50% off promotion.

*Available through participating resellers only.
Excludes Invisi™ Series, Somerton Smart 270, Sydney Smart 305 One-Piece, Cube Ultra, H2 Zero Waterless and Flow Showerheads. Shipping not included. 50% discount is based off of the list price. Promotion runs from February 14, 2011 through June 30, 2011. Offer available to all North American residents (Canada exempt). Coupon must be present at time of purchase.
 

Click here to see Participating Dealers – if you are in Georgia, contact ecoTransitions.

All floor mounted models also qualify for the various toilet rebate programs in the US!

Why do American toilets clog?

After I moved here from Germany I noticed that Americans often have a plunger in their bathrooms. It took me not very long to find out that toilets clog more often in North America than they do in Europe. I didn’t learn about the reason why they clog, until I started ecoTransitions during the drought in 2007, supplying Australian designed Caroma Dual Flush toilets to Georgians. It’s a matter of design, trap way size and flush method.

Standard US toilets clear the bowl with siphon technology, so the waste in the bowl gets pulled into the drain and out into the trap way. In order to create this siphon action, the trap way needs to be as narrow as possible, usually around 2 to 2 3/4 inches.  You can see how siphon vs. washdown technology works here

Although most of the time this flushing method gets rid of the waste efficiently, there is a tendency for blockages to occur in the toilet trap way.

Australian and European designed toilets use a wash down method which “pushes” the waste down, instead of of “pulling” it. This is why European toilets have a larger diameter trap way which results in less clogging.

One drawback wash down toilets have versus siphon models is the smaller water spot in the bowl, which can result in “skid marks” happening on ocassion.  So it really comes down to a matter of  personal preference. If you are comfortable with getting out a plunger to unclog your toilet every now and again, then stick with an American style toilet. If you have issues with clogged toilets and don’t mind using a toilet brush every now and then an Australian or European style model may work better for you.

Gainesville, GA Toilet rebate criteria change | AccessNorthGa

Toilet rebate criteria change | AccessNorthGa.

Toilet rebate criteria change

BY MARC EGGERS STAFF
GAINESVILLE – The criteria for the City of Gainesville Plumbing Retrofit Program has changed. 

Under the new guidelines, only high efficiency toilets that are 1.28 gallons per flush or less will be eligible for the credit offered by the Gainesville Public Utilities Department.

Under the retrofit program, any single-family residential customer, whose home was built prior to 1993, can replace older model toilets with new water efficient models and receive a $75.00 credit per toilet replaced. The credit is applied to the applicants’ City of Gainesville water bill.

The City of Gainesville was the first to offer a plumbing retrofit program in North Georgia and in the past has offered the credit for 1.6 gpf toilets.

These eligibility changes are due to measures passed by the legislature in the water stewardship act. These changes will take effect statewide in July 2012. However, to continue as a leader in water conservation, the City of Gainesville has opted to implement the changes this year.

A typical family of four can save around 35 gallons a day or 12,775 gallons a year by replacing one 3.5 gpf toilet with a 1.28 gpf toilet.

Rebate applications must be accompanied with an original receipt and can be found online at http://www.gainesville.org/public_utilities or the Public Utilities Building located at 757 Queen City Parkway, SW Gainesville, GA 30501. Please see application for complete details.

For more information contact Jennifer Flowers at (770) 532-7462, ext. 3287.

 

Dekalb County, GA approves Water Rate Hike

The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners approved an 11 percent water and sewer rate increase to pay for nearly $1.4 billion in water and sewer system upgrades in the County.

If your home was built prior to 1993 and you haven’t upgraded your toilets yet, you are wasting a significant amount of water and money. By upgrading an old, inefficient toilet to a WaterSense labeled High Efficiency Dual Flush toilet you can reduce your water usage between 40% and 70%. On top of the water savings achieved by reduced water usage, you will also receive a $100 rebate from Dekalb County Watershed (if you meet the requirements) – details can be found here. If you opt for a Caroma Dual Flush toilet, you can also retire your plunger, as these toilets virtually do not clog (want proof? view this flushing video from ecoTransitions).