Ireland embraces dual-flush toilets

Dual-flush systems are to become compulsory in all Irish toilets, as the environment ministry tries to cut the amount of drinking water flushed down the loo.

Dual-flush toilets can reduce the amount of water used to flush toilets by 27%, and are rated as one of the most efficient water saving measures available (see related story).

Considering that more than a third of all drinking water is used for toilet flushing, this can have a significant impact on total drinking water demand.

The measure is to come into effect by 1 January 2008, and comes as a response to an increasing demand for water, spurred on by Ireland’s growing economy and population.

Ireland’s environment minister Dick Roche said: “We must cut back on drinking water demands on our natural resources of lakes, rivers, springs and wells. We must also cut back on the energy consumed in the treatment of water to make it drinkable and then use more than one third of it to flush toilets”

Dual flush toilets allow for a choice between a short, 4 litre-maximum flush, and a longer flush of up to 6 litres. This gives a considerable saving on traditional toilet flushing systems which use between 6 and 0 litres per flush.

The estimated 700m litres of drinking water saved each year once the measure is rolled out across Ireland will translate into savings of at least 700,000 euro each year for local water authorities, minister Roche said.

Goska Romanowicz

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