Why We Need Water Efficiency
Communities throughout British Columbia are
recognizing the importance of water conservation.
While these concerns were heightened during the drought
period earlier in the decade, British Columbians
generally are recognizing that conservation saves money
by extending the life of our water supply
infrastructure, and helps to protect the natural
environment and wildlife habitat.
Toilets account for 30 to 40 per cent of residential
water use, and have been the focus of regulatory
measures by local governments over the past decade.
In 1998, at the request of local governments, the
Province created the Water Conservation Plumbing
Regulation under the Local Government
Act. The regulation sets maximum flow rates
for kitchen and lavatory faucets and shower heads, and
maximum flush cycles for toilets and urinals. The
regulation provides two different requirements for
toilet flush cycles:
- A maximum flush cycle of 13.25 litres for toilets
in residential and commercial buildings
- For specific local governments that have asked for
a higher standard, a maximum flush cycle of six litres
for toilets in all types of buildings (these toilets
are known as ultra low-flush, or ULF toilets)
The regulation has been amended twice to add more
local governments that wish to require ULF
toilets. Today, most of B.C.’s population lives in
cities and towns in which ULF toilets are mandatory.