Commission to regulate flushing of toilets and urinals

26th of November 2013
Commission to regulate flushing of toilets and urinals

The European Commission is to adopt criteria on delivering an ecolabel to toilets and urinals. The decision comes after years of efforts by experts working for the European Commission's environment directorate, as well as "stakeholders" studying "user behaviour" and "best practices".

"The primary aim of establishing criteria for toilets etc, is to increase water efficiency during operation," Joe Hennon, spokesperson for environment commissioner Janez Poto?nik, said. He added later that ecolabels are voluntary and requested by businesses.

Experts have reported that in Netherlands, and maybe soon in France, toilets with more than six litres per flush cannot be installed. Portugal should face the same limitations. In the UK new toilets with more than six litres per flush are forbidden and installations of toilets with less than six litres per flush are encouraged though it depends on where and when the property was built, the drainage system installed, etc.

For Britain, the Commission notes that some toilets already in place before the new legislation can use seven or nine litres per flush.According to documents, "legal text adjustments" promoted by the Commission foresee that maximum limit for full flush volume of flushing urinal equipment shall be lower than one litre per flush, and for toilets - five litre full flush volume.

But a proposal to limit the flush of urinal equipment to 0.5 litre has been rejected as "not feasible". And a proposal to limit the flush of toilets to three litres has also been rejected, as according to documents, which state that "the further reduction of the average value to three litres per flush, would reduce the possibility to apply for the EU Ecolabel for this product group to the negligible market share".

Experts have agreed that two key elements appear to affect the water consumption of flushing toilets and urinals: their design and the user behaviour.

Regarding user behaviour and based on the discussions with stakeholders, the experts have decided to set the average flush volume as "the arithmetic average of one full flush volume and three reduced flush volumes".




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