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Toilets That Make Sense

The average family uses about 400 gallons of water per day, according to estimates, with up to 26 percent of that daily usage attributed to flushing toilets. To reduce some of that water usage - and trim water bills as well - homeowners can install some of the newer low-flow toilets, such as three water-conserving models from Wisconsin-based Kohler Co.

Highline and Wellworth Pressure Lite toilets from Kohler incorporate pressure-assisted technology, which ensures one-flush, no-plug performance on as little as 1.1 gallons per flush (gpf). That's a 30-percent reduction in water usage when compared to standard 1.6-gpf models, and is enough to qualify the toilets for water rebate programs in certain localities. In addition, it has earned the toilets the WaterSense label from the Environmental Protection Agency. Similar to Energy Star, WaterSense is an EPA program designed to highlight water-efficient products.

The Highline and Wellworth water-conserving toilets can save homeowners more than 5,000 gallons of water per toilet, per year, according to Kohler. The toilets are also available in 1.4-gpf models, which can save 2,000 gallons of water per toilet, per year.

A third model, the San Raphael Power Lite toilet, uses an electric pump inside the tank to improve efficiency and conserve water. The dual-flush toilet uses just 1.0 gallons of water for light flushes and 1.4 for heavier waste, averaging just 1.08 gallons per flush. It, too, can save about 5,000 gallons of water per year over standard 1.6-gpf gravity-fed toilets. Multiply those savings by a neighborhood, town or city, and you're saving significant amounts of potable water. For more information: 800-4-KOHLER or http://www.kohler.com.