The Trevi
Viking, Minnesota

Rural Reflections Radio

In 1992 the United States Congress wrote law that all toilets must be of the water-saver type. This meant that old-style toilets which used anywhere from three to seven gallons of water could no longer be used in new construction or remodeling. In 1992 the house that I and Lisa own was in a fire. The former owners then decided instead of starting fresh they would save this lovely old house. The one wrinkle was that it was 1992 and they would have to use a water-saver toilet. The technology was new and untested at the time and these new toilets would earn a poor reputation before things got better. Up until last week, we were using this same toilet and that’s were our story begins.

I have complained about this toilet from the start. Without being indelicate, this toilet was really not equal to the task at hand. I don’t think this toilet saved much water as it normally took anywhere from two to three flushes

while it’s historical brethren would have completed the task in one flush. Any job worth doing is worth doing well but in this case it was worth doing more than once to maintain peace and a healthy enviroment for our home’s occupants-cats included. Upstairs sat a toilet with technology to spare and a flush that shook the plumbing. I yearned for a day when we could afford another one just like it for our downstairs water closet.

I’ve done a fair amount of research on toilets. I’ve laughed as small pieces of sponge are flushed in an effort to test the toilet’s flush-ability. I’ve cried as I hit the flush valve for the third time with no results. Last week gave me hope as I found an advertisement for toilets on sale. I figured this was just bait for the switch to a higher-priced toilet but I went for it anyway and purchased the "Trevi" model. As I performed the install I could hear my own heart thump in my ear drums. Trembling hands reached for a flush lever that had disapoointed many times. Instead of the familiar anemic, clockwise rotation of water going nowhere fast I was treated to a hugely satisfying cascade of water. New technology now offers a steeper bowl that increases the speed of the water which comes from fewer, larger openings. It’s similar to waterfall in sheer hydraulic pressure and in it’s ability to inspire those watching. I observed breathless as all water left my presence for places best left unspoken.

I could have gone into the history of the toilet but that’s been done to death. I think when we talk about water conservation and the bathroom we need to remember this is where a third of our fresh water is spent. I’m just happy that toilet performance caught up with enviromental concerns. It’s really kind of inspirational, so much so I think I’ll head for my new favorite room. I reach for last week’s "Yesteryears" and go forth to relax, to read and finally to flush.