A surge in water consumption legislation in the previous decade has prompted manufacturers to rethink the way water closets are used and designed. From low-flow and waterless to dual-flush and macerating fixtures, 2005 brings with it an array of new products on the market that answer the industry's call for efficient and innovative offerings.

Dual-Flush Systems

Water conservation in states such as California and Arizona is not just savvy, it's essential.

Just across the Pacific in Australia comes a system with volumes set to become a global standard in water usage. The dual-flush system from Caroma features an average flush volume of just 1 gallon. Developed in the 1990s, the 1.6/.08-gallon two-button dual-flush system offers a wide range of flushing combinations to suit specific applications - one for solids, one for liquids. The company believes it has the potential to reduce water usage by up to 67 percent.

Macerating Waste

Plumbers have always faced clogging toilets' plugged pumps. A new macerating innovation for septic tank users works to reduce wastes to fine particles for easier flow through sanitary systems.

The Sanibest from Saniflo Inc. is best described as a grinder. It features a stationary plate with holes (similar to a meat grinder) and a rotating cutting blade that fits tight against it. An impeller creates suction where the cutting action macerates materials for easier waste disposal of larger sanitary articles.

"The Sanibest is designed for commercial projects or areas where there is no 'control' on who is using the toilet," Saniflo President Johan Bouwer explains. The system is able to connect three fixtures to each macerator. It uses 3/4-inch waste pipe that connects to a soil stack, and it does not take up more space than a regular toilet.

Sanibest recently won second place at ISH North America's New Product Showcase in the category of Tools & Equipment. And Saniflo won't stop there.

"At Saniflo we keep on innovating," says Bouwer. "In the works are whole-house macerating systems and smaller, self-contained gray water pumps."

Low-Flow & Tamper-Proof

A leaking flapper can see the loss of hundreds of gallons of water per day, and a traditional 1.6-gpf toilet can be "adjusted" to perform like an older design. Those are things of the past with a new Flapperless(tm) toilet byNiagara Conservation. Its unique - and tamper-proof - "tipping bucket" design ensures this ultra-low-flush water closet doesn't exceed 1.6 gallons per flush.

When the flush handle is tipped forward, a water tub inside the tank filled with its 1.6 gallons is dumped with a force on par with a 3.5-gallon flush. Also, since nothing is submerged inside the tank - no chains, levers or flappers to corrode or break - maintenance is minimal and sweating eliminated.

Waterless Way

Proving to be a leader in the plumbing water conservation market,Waterless Co.recently launched a new full ceramic waterless No-Flush(tm) urinal to its model line up. The Sierra(tm) features a full ceramic glazed interior 2-inch drain line, and no o-rings or housings for a trap cartridge are needed. Since it requires no water or mechanical parts for flushing (Sierra uses Waterless' EcoTrap(tm) insert) maintenance is minimal, making it ideal for high traffic facilities.

According to the company, a waterless urinal saves up to 45,000 gallons and more per year of potable water.