Week of June 26th
The Two Flush System – What is it and how does it work?
My first encounter with a two flush system was on my first visit to Israel in 2007. Quite honestly, I had no idea why the toilet had 2 buttons, or 2 levers, depending on the setup. It took some experimentation to figure out the difference, but basically different amounts of water were released depending on which was pressed.
Less water is needed to flush urination because the liquid mixes and flows with the flushed water. So the smaller button or lever is pressed and the toilet does the rest using a reduced water flow. For bigger loads, the big button or lever is used so the extra water keeps your bowl looking nice.
Two flush systems are rarely seen in the United States, or at least in Texas. However, historically water has not been as hard to come by in the United States, as it is in Israel, where a large portion of the country is desert. Israel’s commitment to water conservation is quite strong with much of the water going toward irrigation and turning parts of the Negev Desert into an agricultural region. For Israel, conservation is especially important in their dry season, roughly through the summer and autumn months.
While big “Green” news items usually relate to finding renewable energy, saving water is just as important. Water on the Earth is a set resource and only about 2% is fresh water in lakes, rivers, ice, and the atmosphere. Overuse and pollution makes even less of what little water is available fit for consumption.
Currently in the United States, a large portion of the states bordering Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico are experiencing drought conditions. In Texas, Louisiana, and Florida, all divisions are experiencing drought, and all but one in New Mexico is experiencing a drought. In San Antonio, where I am from, Stage 2 water restrictions are in effect based on the level of water in the Edwards Aquifer at one particular well. In the drier summer months, this has become a surprisingly regular occurrence as the rain the rest of the year is not enough to slake the city’s thirst during the summer. During these restrictions, the city sets regulations as to when water can be used for what; this includes restricting days and times lawns can be watered and whether car washing is legal.
Two Flush System retrofits are available for just about any toilet. The retrofits are a simple and inexpensive way to reduce how much water you can use per flush. Most are simple enough to install as a do-it-yourself project in an hour or less. They fit nearly all standard household toilets and even accommodate the low-flow 1.6 gallon toilets that are all but standard in new construction. Retrofit kits can get pricey, but there are inexpensive options under $100.
While water conservation is relatively untouched by the media and politicians, it is an important part of Going Green and using resources wisely. Two Flush Systems have been proven in other places and could be an integral part of cutting down water use domestically.
One Stop Green is looking towards a ‘greener’ future, sharing the latest and greatest ideas in green living and green technology with you through our staff written blogs. Going 'green' is no longer a choice, it's our responsibility, that's why it's so important to try and do the small things that can help change the outlook of the planet - and this is essentially the purpose of One Stop Green. We believe even the little things like recycling or using less water helps the environment out in a big way, and that's why our various solutions seek to nurture and edify your home or business in an eco-friendly manner.