Meacher gets tough on toilet flushing

Environment minister Michael Meacher has announced a number of new regulations designed to save water and protect the quality of water supplies, which will soon replace the water byelaws in England and Wales.

For instance, from 1 January 2001, all toilets fitted must have a maximum flush volume of 6 litres, in contrast to the present 7.5, and will be permitted to have a dual flush option. A reduction in the volume of water used by washing machines has also been proposed, along with stricter backflow prevention standards for potable supplies, and more detailed notification procedures for high water-use installations.

These regulations will not be retrospective, but Pamela Taylor, chief executive of Water UK, claimed on behalf of the water industry: “The proposal for all new toilets to use 20% less water will be a great help in saving water as toilet flushing accounts for about a third of all domestic water use.”

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