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This blog has been primarily about saving humanity, but today’s post is about a local problem that will have worldwide implications, and what we as individuals can do to help. Very few people have found my solution to this problem on my web page so I am reposting it here.

Drought is common in California history and it appears that this bit of history is about to repeat itself. The problem will now be more difficult than in the past because there are vastly more people here than when we had the last drought. Just last week Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a drought, because we have had two years of below average rainfall in northern California, and appear to be entering an extended period of below average rainfall. This is bad news not only for California but for the whole world because not only is California the economic powerhouse of the world it is an agricultural one also. A problem in California will soon ripple throughout the entire world.

How you can cut your domestic water consumption in half by using this controllable toilet flushing system.

In the United States the standard flush toilet uses about three and a half gallons of water with every flush. This is irregardless of the type of material being flushed down the drain, and into the sewer system. Obviously solid material requires more water to consistently wash it down than does liquid waste. This calls for a variable flushing system which is dependent upon what is being cleared away. Presently there are dual flush systems available, but they are complex and thus expensive. There are also temporary fixes which are proffered upon the unsuspecting public during temporary drought conditions. One of these is a simple lead weight which is attached to the floatable plunger-ball which closes the valve when the user is not physically holding the flush lever in its down position. The problem with this method of saving water is that the lead weight all too often detaches itself and goes into the upper part of the toilet water distribution system, and plugs it up. This requires a plumber to come out and remove it or in many cases to completely replace the entire toilet assembly. In an effort to save a little water the end user causes a problem costing him hundreds of dollars. I have discovered an extremely simple way to save more than half of the toilet water, and with no risk of ruining your toilet. It is easy to install, and it works great.

Toilet water 1

The first photo shows a front view of an open toilet water supply tank with a duct tape strap across the top of the tank.

Toilet water 2

The second photo shows an interior of the toilet refill tank, and a brass rod running vertically from above the tank down through the water, and into a floatable plunger valve. The floatable plunger valve is held in the drain pipe by the weight of the water above it. The rod is held in a vertical position by running it through a hole in a piece of adhesive duct tape strung from the front of the tank to the back of it. Lower down the rod runs through another preexisting guide attached to the filling assembly. The hole in the duct tape is surrounded, and strengthened with a metal washer. The bottom of the rod is threaded and it is screwed into the plunger valve.

How to operate the toilet-water water-saving mechanism.

When the refill water tank is full the rod may be lifted by hand to release all of the water that is in the tank. It will flow out of the tank into the toilet bowl below. This operation is the normal full flush option, and it performs exactly as it would had the typical handle on the front of the tank been attached to the mechanism, and depressed. The water saving alternative option is accomplished by pushing the rod vertically down, with the hand, at any time after it has been lifted up. When the rod is depressed the plunger valve is pushed into the drain pipe, and the flow of water ceases immediately. When only liquid waste is being flushed away as little as one quarter of the water in the tank is needed for flushing. Eight out of ten household usages of the toilet are for liquid waste disposal thus there is ample opportunity to save water. The assembly can be made to look much nicer by running the rod through the water tank lid. This can be done by boring a properly located hole through the top of the water tank lid. Use the duct tape method for a week or so first to make sure you are satisfied with its operation.