25 May 2007

Big or little flush

When we lived in New Mexico the city of Albuquerque had a big campaign to reduce water usage in that semi-arid climate by promoting the use of toilets that used a lower volume of water. Many people complained that these low flow units did not work as well as the older models but personally I never had an issue with that.

Italy seems to have found a way to accommodate the proper flush of a toilet while saving some water at the same time. This may seem like an odd topic but just another one of those unique things that I have noticed about life in Italy.

On our first trip here ten years ago it was more common to see public toilets that consisted of a ceramic panel on the floor with a hole in the middle and foot pads on either side. I’ll let your imagine figure out how that was used. These seem much less common now but there is another option when flushing many of the toilets – do you want a big flush or just a little one? The buttons for flushing on some toilets have a small button for a small flush and also a big button for a longer more forceful flush. No need to use more water than necessary.

You still need to look around in some bathrooms for where the flush button is – is it on the top of the tank, is it on the of the tank mounted on the wall or might it be that button on the wall in front of you? The standard handle on the front corner of the tank behind the seat common in the United States just is not common here in Italy.

3 comments:

Martin (Bryan's brother) said...

Bryan,
In the new HQ building I'm working on, we have dual position flush for the toilets, one way for "small" and the other way for "big". It's part of our "green building".
Martin

geek girl said...

Looking for the handles - so true. LOL good topic.

Bryan said...

Hey Martin - 1st time I have heard of those in the US, not something you would find down at Home Depot.