The city of Toronto is offering money to building owners to replace high water use toilets. Applicants must meet specific requirements to receive the rebate.

The city of Toronto is offering money to building owners to replace high water use toilets. Its 1999 Ultra Low Flush Toilet Incentive Program for Multi-Residential Buildings will pay $60 for every floor-outlet toilet replaced with a water-efficient, 6-liter toilet or $75 for every wall-outlet (rear-flushing) toilet replaced. Applicants must meet specific requirements to receive the rebate:

  • The toilets can only be installed by the city's prequalified performance contractors, so called because historically they were paid from the savings achieved as a result of their work. Four contractors received the city's approval for the current program. More contractors may be needed next year depending on demand.

  • The old toilets are to be taken to a waste disposal site where they will be crushed and the china will be recycled. A receipt from the landfill must be submitted as proof that this was done.

  • The building owner or contractor must provide receipts for the purchase of the ultra low-flush toilets that were installed. The models and brands installed are selected by the contractors.

  • A water analysis is to be performed that indicates the current actual water usage by the building and projected water use following the installation. Water bills from the past 12 months are to be included with the rebate application so the program's administrators can measure the savings.

  • Only buildings with six or more housing units and equipped with a water meter are eligible. All of the toilets in the building must be replaced.

The program was approved by the city council in July and applications approval for the rebates began Sept. 8.

The budget allocated for the current program is $1 million (Canadian), said Pamela Georgopoulos, supervisor/water efficiency and stormwater initiatives in the Technical Services/Environmental Division.

The response has been much greater than anticipated, said Roman Kaszczij, water efficiency engineer in the Water and Wastewater Division of the Toronto Works and Emergency Services Department. About 37,000 applications had been received as of late October.

Georgopoulos, whose department is responsible for implementing the program, said, "We are going to the council to request funding for 60,000 toilets for the year 2000."

The Water and Wastewater Division delivers water to 2.3 million people.

"We have 450,000 multiresidential units in the city of Toronto," Kaszczij said. "If we hit 40,000, that is 10% in one year. We would like to get 50% penetration with this program."

The program is expected to save 800,000 cubic meters of water in 1999, allowing for the delay of expansion of the city's water supply facilities.

The sale of 3.5-gal.-per-flush toilets is still legal in Canada.