Governor Schwarzenegger recently signed into law Assembly Bill (AB) No. 715, supported by the Plumbing Manufacturers Institute (PMI), that encourages and provides for the gradual conversion to higher efficiency toilets and urinals in California.
Many existing toilets average 1.6 gallons per flush. High efficiency toilets only use 1.28 gallons per flush, or less; while high efficiency urinals use one-half gallon per flush, or less. Under the new law, plumbing manufacturers have committed to producing at least half of their toilet models sold in California to be high efficiency by 2010. By 2014, all toilets and urinals sold in the state will be high efficiency models. The new high efficiency toilet and urinals will use less water, helping alleviate demands on water agencies in California.
“We applaud the forward-thinking actions of Governor Schwarzenegger, Assembly Member Jon Laird (D-Santa Cruz), and the California Legislature to ensure responsible environmental stewardship and water conservation,” said Barbara Higgens, PMI executive director. “PMI is proud to have worked with Assembly Member Laird to develop and include the market transition plan in the legislation. This transition element is critical for allowing plumbing manufactures sufficient time to transform current product lines to successfully meet consumers’ expectations for performance, while also meeting the state’s desire for high efficiency plumbing.”
Toilet manufacturers are prepared to contribute significant effort and investment to incorporate high efficiency improvements. These engineering enhancements will deliver desirable performance to consumers, while helping the state use less water.
Recognizing the technology investment required for manufacturers to meet this desire for high efficiency toilets and urinals, the legislature provided a manageable timeframe for the new standard to take effect. Also critical from PMI’s perspective was ensuring that the law was sound and enforceable, and to avoid a repeat of the performance problems experienced in the early days of 1.6 gallon per flush toilets when that standard was prematurely mandated.
“Our industry encourages officials at the federal level and in other states to support similar responsible environmental initiatives in future legislation,” Higgens said. “The work accomplished in California is a testament to the progress that can be achieved when stakeholders are committed to working together to ensure the well-being of the environment, industry and the people. As an industry, we look forward to continuing this trajectory of responsible water usage and conservation for generations to come.”