NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Eco-Friendly Toilets Cause a Stink

March 15, 2011

San Francisco is paying a high price for promoting eco-friendly low-flow toilets, says the Daily Mail (U.K.).

Twenty million gallons of water a year are being saved, but because the small amount of water is not pushing the waste away fast enough there is a stinky whiff in parts of the city.  Now authorities are set to undermine the toilets' green credentials by flushing $14 million worth of bleach to solve the problem.

  • Public Utilities Commission spokesman Tyrone Jue admitted that skimping on toilet water had caused more sludge to back up inside the sewer pipes.
  • It has created a rotten-egg stench near AT&T Park -- home to the San Francisco Giants -- and other parts of the Bay Area, especially during the summer months.
  • The city has agreed a three-year deal for concentrated bleach to disinfect treated water before it is pumped into San Francisco Bay and to sanitize tap water.

The city has already spent $100 million over the past five years to upgrade its sewer system and sewage plants, in part to overcome the odor problem.

Source: "Whiff of a Green Scandal: San Francisco Pours $14m of Bleach into Sea -- After Eco-Friendly Toilets Cause a Stink," Daily Mail (U.K.), March 1, 2011.

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