In 1994 a federal law was passed mandating low flow toilets that could use no more than 1.6 gallons (6 liters) per flush. Prior to this, toilets would use as much as three and a half to seven gallons per flush. But at least you were sure that whatever was flushed, stayed flushed. No more.
San Francisco's big push for low-flow toilets has turned into a multimillion-dollar plumbing stink.
Skimping on toilet water has resulted in more sludge backing up inside the sewer pipes, said Tyrone Jue, spokesman for the city Public Utilities Commission. That has created a rotten-egg stench near AT&T Park and elsewhere, especially during the dry summer months.
The city has already spent $100 million over the past five years to upgrade its sewer system and sewage plants, in part to combat the odor problem.
Now officials are stocking up on a $14 million, three-year supply of highly concentrated sodium hypochlorite - better known as bleach - to act as an odor eater and to disinfect the city's treated water before it's dumped into the bay. It will also be used to sanitize drinking water.
This is Al Gore's legacy. Cities that reek of feculence.
Here, want a whiff of San Fran?
Some environmentalists proclaim that through the use of low-flow toilets the city saves 20 million gallons of water per year. Water in SF costs about a half cent per gallon. The benefit of saving 20 million gallons per year yields about $100,000 in cost avoidance.
Over the past five years the city has spent $100 million to upgrade its sewer system to get rid of the stench and now will spend another $14 million over three years to purchase over 25 million pounds of bleach to further these efforts. At this rate it will take 1,000 years to recoup just the cost of the new sewers. And let's not even begin to think about how much it cost for the new water saving toilets to be purchased and installed.
And if you think that's intense, look at Atlanta where some city residents are getting billed $1,800 per month for water. Apparently the new wireless "drive by" water meters are not working out too well.
The politically correct folks at You Tube disabled the embedding for the famous Blazing Saddles campfire scene. So here for your listening pleasure is a non-You Tube rendition of Mel Brooks' tribute to the fair winds of the great City of San Francisco.