Since then, low-flow plumbing fixtures including toilets, faucet aerators and showerheads have been developed that save substantial amounts of water compared to conventional fixtures while providing the same utility.
Different types of low-flow toilets use various technologies aimed at making the toilet more functional. Some toilets have large drain passages, redesigned bowls and tanks for easier wash down. Others supplement the gravity system with water supply line pressure, compressed air, or a vacuum pump.
Conventional faucet aerators don't compensate for changes in inlet pressure, so the greater the water pressure, the more water you use. New technology compensates for pressure and provides the same flow regardless of pressure. Aerators are also available that allow water to be turned off at the aerator itself. Showerheads use similar aerator technology and multiple flow settings to save water.
Low-flow toilets use a maximum of 1.6 gallons of water per flush compared with about five to seven gallons of water used by a standard toilet. Low-flow shower heads use about 2 ½ gallons of water per minute compared to between four and five gallons per minute used by conventional heads. Low-flow faucet aerators can cut the water usage of faucets by as much as 40% from 4 gallons per minute to 2 ½ .
Installation of low-flow plumbing fixtures is similar to that of conventional fixtures. The majority of these fixtures require no special connections or fittings.
Easy installation procedures make low flow plumbing fixtures feasible for retrofitting. It is estimated that low-flow toilets alone could save up to 22,000 gallons of water per year for a family of four. Low-flow plumbing fixtures are available in all the styles and colors of conventional fixtures. Low-flow faucet aerators and showerheads are available at little additional cost.
There have been complaints that the low-flow toilets have trouble clearing the bowl and frequently clog. There is a higher cost associated with low-flow fixtures over conventional fixtures.
Low flow plumbing fixtures must meet the appropriate American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards listed by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO)
There are many manufacturers of low-flow faucets and fixtures that are readily available in all parts of the country.
Do you have a specific question about this technology and/or its 'real life' applications? Try the contacts listed below:
American Water Works Association
1401 New York Ave. NW, Suite 640
Washington, DC 20005 USA
Plumbing Manufacturers Institute (PMI)
800 Roosevelt Road
Building C, Suite 20
Glen Ellyn, IL, 60137
Mister Miser Urinal
4901 North Twelfth Street
Quincy, IL 62301