Q: We have a sensitive septic system. Our service company recommended we install water-saving toilets to cut down on the amount of water flowing into the system. What do you recommend for minimum toilet-water use with maximum power?

A: While a lot of homeowners want an efficient toilet to cut down on water bills, installing a water-saving toilet can also benefit a home with a delicate septic system.

Toilets that use less than 1.3 gallons per flush can qualify as an HET (high-efficiency toilet). Many HETs are designed with flushing systems that deliver a strong flush.

But if you’re looking for an even bigger kick from your HET flush, I recommend looking into assisted-flush toilets. They use pressurized air mixed with water in a sealed tank to provide a powerful flush of water into the bowl. Professional public bathrooms have used assisted flush toilets for years, and the technology works well with residential water-saving toilets, too.


Ed Del Grande is a master plumber, contractor and author. Send questions to eadelg@cs.com.