Stop flushing money down the toilet


These aren’t just random figures. Sanitary water takes a front seat when it comes to personal water usage. A flush in relatively older toilets consumes 3.5 gallons of water. According to Regional Water Providers Consortium, a person flushes five times a day, on average. Add it up and this can mean a whopping 6,388 gallons of water per year for a single person. For a high occupancy hotel, this is certainly not good news.

Sanitary water usage is inevitable, and the older conventional toilet fixtures are highly inefficient, some even using as much as 7.0 gallons of water per flush (gpf). Consequently, some organizations and brands have come forward to improve the stats.

TOTO’s Drake II 1G is ADA compliant, WaterSense and CalGreen certified.

A quick example could be the CalGreen regulation, mandatory all over the state of California. It requires each non-residential building to use no more than 1.28 gpf for a toilet and .125 gpf (one pint) for urinals. LEED and GreenPlus have their own similar regulations. The federal water regulation imposes a limit of 1.6 gpf, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency WaterSense certification is rigorous in limiting water consumption to the maximum of 1.28 gpf.

The WaterSense certified toilets are HETs (high efficiency toilets) that are widely available on the market. Brands like Kohler, TOTO, American Standard, and others, are upping the ante with tech-incorporated commercial grade water closets that are exceedingly high performing while using less water.

The TreeHotel in Sweden is located in a forest, and their extensive eco-friendly practices include using water-free freezing and incinerating toilets. These toilets get rid of solid waste by either freezing or combusting them to ashes before expelling them. Such a setting can prove to be highly convenient for properties in remote places where procuring water can be quite a hassle.

Vishal and Vijay Patel own two Hampton Inns in Livermore and South San Francisco, California. With occupancy rates of over 90 percent at both the properties throughout the year, the old toilets were not helping the drought situation in California. The toilets at the South San Francisco property consumed 1.6 gpf of water while the hotel in Livermore used 2.1 gpf. In the process of revamping the properties, Vishal Patel discovered WaterSense labeled Drake II 1G toilet by TOTO. After using the sample in his hotels, he was convinced of the abilities of the toilet and decided to replace all the toilets in both the properties.

Owners Vishal and Vijay Patel

Owners Vishal and Vijay Patel

After three months of usage at both the properties the results were stellar: the South San Francisco property saved 6,300 gallons while the one at Livermore saved 5,200 gallons water without clogging a single toilet.

In comparison to conventional toilets, the Drake II 1G uses Tornado Flushing technology that consumes just 1.0 gpf and effectively cleanses the bowl utilizing the power of gravity, instead of using a pressure assisted system. The technology uses an impressive 35 percent less water than its contemporaries. This also enables it to flush without excess noise, saving embarrassment and disturbance. This WaterSense and CalGreen certified toilet also has a barrier glaze which prevents tiny particles from sticking to the bowl, resulting in less work for the housekeeping staff.

By Najook Pandya


  • Make sure your toilets are WaterSense labeled.

  • Look for Ultra Low Flow toilets (1.6 gpf) and High Efficiency toilets (max 1.28 gpf). Dual flush toilets (1.6 gpf for solid waste and 1.0 gpf for liquid waste) are a great option as well.

  • Insist upon using latest and proven technologies like a pressure-assist flushing system that integrates air pressure to get a clean bowl.

  • Conduct auditing to check for leakage if daily water use per room goes beyond 60 gallons.