British Columbia is updating its building code to further protect and preserve water by requiring the installation of high-efficiency toilets and urinals in new buildings and renovations.

Under the updated regulations, new residential buildings and renovated projects will have to include high-efficiency toilets with a 4.8-litre flush volume. This model of toilet can save as much as 8,000 litres of water every year for a family of four. For all new buildings and renovation projects that will include urinal installation, the maximum flush volume must be 1.9 litres or less, saving approximately 18,000 litres of water every year.

Changes are effective October 4, 2010 to give suppliers time to replace existing inventory with higher-efficiency models.

These new requirements will not apply to toilets in industrial, commercial or institutional buildings, such as schools and hospitals, which can still install six-litre models.

These enhancements to the BC Building Code will contribute to making water use 33 per cent more efficient by 2020, which is one of the key targets in Living Water Smart, the provincial government’s water plan.

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