Replaced a Hog with a Coupe

December 15th, 2006 by Peter Schmelzer


If you think this post is about vehicles, you’re going to be disappointed but I’ll do what I can.

Last night Mary and I replaced the old water-hog toilet in our house with a new, water-efficient model.

It installed just like other toilets and sports a small tank and deep bowl. On the tank lid are two buttons that activate the dual-flush mechanism that makes it so efficient. Compared to the SUV-like old toilet, which blasted through 3.0 gallons per flush, the new unit is like a Prius, using only 0.8 gallons for liquid waste and 1.6 gallons for solid waste (or as the Sterling website suggests, “bulk” waste; hm, let’s avoid further discussion there…)

We are pleased with how quiet the unit is and have so far been impressed with its functionality, even when I tried the liquid button for “bulk” waste which it handled without a problem.

This is an example of how we can use our well-developed technologies to minimize the resources we consume. Too often in the past, we have use technology to generate more, but not necessarily better, technologies. I hope you will join us in the search for and application of technologies that are well-conceived and make a difference.

Posted in All Entries, Community, Sustainability 1 Comment »

One Response to “Replaced a Hog with a Coupe”

  1. Peter Schmelzer Says:

    Just received new water and sewer rates from the city of Northfield for the next three years and some past data. Combined water and sewer costs are as follows.
    YEAR COST (increase)
    2005 $3.90
    2006 $4.40 (up 12.82%)
    2007 $4.61 (up 4.77%)
    2008 $4.90 (up 6.29%)
    2009 $5.10 (up 4.08%)

    For my family, with four users flushing 2.25 times per day at an average of 1.2 gallons per flush, replacing our 3.0 gallon per flush toilet will save 790 cubic feet of water per year.

    I’ll assume 4% increase per year on costs, which translates to these savings per year.

    2007 $36.44 $36.44
    2008 $38.73 $75.18
    2009 $40.32 $115.49
    2010 $41.93 $157.42
    2011 $43.61 $201.03
    2012 $45.35 $246.38
    2013 $47.16 $293.54
    2014 $49.05 $342.59
    2015 $51.01 $393.60

    The toilet retails for about $175 more than other toilets, so the payback period is about 4 1/2 years. So, on Independence Day 2010, my toilet will have payed for itself and saved 3,555 cubic feet water (26,500 gallons).

    In 2015, when my son will go to college, we’ll have one fewer flusher in the mix, so I’ve stopped the calculations there. By then, 9 years after my initial $175 investment, it will have saved me almost $400 in water and sewer costs alone.