Residents of Quebec are huge consumers of potable (drinkable) water. According to an annual report released by the Government of Quebec in 2016, water consumption in Quebec was 20 percent higher than in other parts of Canada. Worse still, with annual consumption of around 551 liters per person, Quebec was using 650 percent more water than the international average.

This over-consumption not only affects the environment, but also increases the cost of municipal infrastructure and raises electricity bills in every home.

Reducing water consumption

Did you know that your toilet accounts for nearly a third of all the water used in your home? The primary culprit is the tank. In fact, a traditional toilet tank holds about 20 liters of water, while that of a low-flow toilet often holds no more than six. This adds up to an enormous difference in your total consumption of potable water.

Are low-flow toilets efficient?

If you think that a low-flow toilet won’t work as effectively as a traditional one, you better think again. Low-flush toilets have come a long way since they first appeared in the early eighties. At that time, the main shortcomings were a lack of cleanliness, obstructions in the siphon and supply line, and clogging in the drain pipe. We won’t go into the gory details. (You’re welcome!)

But all that’s a thing of the past. These days, the industry produces high-performance models that contain between 4.5 and 6 liters of water. To ensure their efficiency, more than two thirds of the toilet models available on the market (including low-flow toilets) are evaluated by an independent organization. The purpose of these evaluations is to determine the amount of solid waste the toilets can eliminate in a single flush. The result? High-efficiency toilets produce a more powerful water flow, improving the effectiveness of the flush and keeping the bowl cleaner. So there’s really no excuse not to get one!

Choosing the right low-flow toilet

When you head out in search of a new toilet, look for ones that have been MaP (Maximum Performance) tested or WaterSense certified.

Since 2003, MaP testing has been performed on thousands of different toilet models. As a result, MaP-certified toilets guarantee superior performance and efficiency.

The WaterSense program, sponsored by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), guarantees the consumer that the toilet will eliminate at least 350 g of waste per flush. Considering that the average amount of waste per flush is 150 g, these toilets should be more than sufficient for most people’s needs.

A downside for the basement

While a high-efficiency toilet offers numerous advantages, it isn’t necessarily a good idea to install one in a basement with very old drain pipes. The reduced volume of water in combination with the rusty pipes could result in clogging.

Other factors to consider when purchasing a new toilet: 

  • Check the quality of the porcelain to ensure that it’s durable and easy to maintain.
  • Make sure that replacement parts are readily available. Avoid uncertified imported products.
  • Choose a toilet bowl shape—whether round or elongated—that best fits your space.
  • Choose a toilet of the height that best suits your needs. A higher seat is often more comfortable for seniors.

By choosing a low-flow toilet, you will:

  • Lower your electricity bill
  • Reduce the cost of municipal infrastructure
  • Save fresh water—a limited natural resource

Are you looking for a specialist that offers a full range of sanitary services? Contact the team at Sanibert for unbeatable service and competitive prices!

ECOHOME. Efficient toilets for LEED homes.
CAA-QUEBEC. Low-flush toilets: choosing the right one.