toilets, many toilets in use today are older and have
flush volumes of 3.5 gpf and up to 5.0 gpf.
To further address efficiency and advances in tank-type
toilet technology, the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency’s (EPA’s) WaterSense® program published a
specification to label water-efficient, high-performing
tank-type toilets. WaterSense labeled tank-type toilets
are independently certified to use 1.28 gpf or less and
remove at least 350 grams of solid waste per flush. The
WaterSense tank-type toilet specification does not
include flushometer-valve toilets in its scope, but it does
include pressure-assist toilets and tank-type electrome-
chanical hydraulic toilets.
Composting toilets are a less common alternative to
typical water-using toilets. They are toilets that include
an anaerobic processing system that can treat waste
using little to no flush water. These toilets do not send the waste through the sanitary
sewer for treatment at a wastewater treatment plant, although some applications
treat the toilet waste in an onsite septic system.
Operation, Maintenance, and User Education
Facility managers can reduce water use by taking simple steps to educate users on
proper toilet use and maintenance. In addition, consider the following:
Train users to report continuously flushing, leaking, or otherwise improperly
operating toilets to the appropriate personnel.
Educate and inform users with restroom signage and other means to avoid flush-
ing inappropriate objects, such as feminine products, wrappers, trash, or com-
pact disc cases. Train custodial staff on how to handle the inappropriate disposal
of such objects.
In addition, consider the operation and maintenance tips specific to tank-type toilets
and flushometer-valve toilets below.
Periodically check to ensure fill valves are working properly and the water level
is set correctly. Remove the toilet tank and check to see if water is flowing over
the top of the overflow tube inside of the tank. Ensure that the refill water level
is set below the top of the overflow tube. Adjust the float lower if the water level
is too high. If the toilet continues to run after the float is adjusted, replace the fill
valve. In order to prevent changes in tank water levels due to line water pressure
fluctuations, only replace existing fill valves with pilot-type fill valves.
WaterSense labeled tank-type toilet
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) WaterSense program. WaterSense Labeled Toilets.