President Trump discussed water efficiency standards on Friday at a White House meeting about small businesses and reducing red tape.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times
President Trump is taking on Americans’ flushing habits and the country’s water efficiency standards.
“We have a situation where we’re looking very strongly at sinks and showers and other elements of bathrooms, where you turn the faucet on — in areas where there’s tremendous amounts of water, where the water rushes out to sea because you could never handle it — you turn on the faucet, you don’t get any water,” he said Friday at a White House meeting about small businesses and reducing red tape.
Mr. Trump also noted that “people are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times as opposed to once” and that “they end up using more water,” according to a transcript of the discussion.
He said the federal Environmental Protection Agency was looking at the issue at his suggestion.
“So we’re looking at, very seriously, at opening up the standard. And there may be some areas where we’ll go the other route — desert areas. But for the most part, you have many states where they have so much water that it comes down — it’s called rain — that they don’t know, they don’t know what to do with it,” he said.
Older toilets use as much as six gallons per flush, according to the E.P.A. website. The agency also notes that recent advancements allow low-flow toilets to use 1.28 gallons or less per flush.
“This is 20 percent less water than the current federal standard of 1.6 gallons per flush,” the agency said.
In 1994, the National Energy Policy Act — part of which said that new water fixtures, including toilets, shower heads and bath and kitchen faucets, had to have water-saving designs — went into effect.
Over the years, there has been criticism from conservative groups and regulatory opponents about the government regulating water flow as it relates to toilets and other plumbing fixtures that save water.
At the meeting on Friday, Mr. Trump also talked about new efficiency standards for light bulbs.
“They got rid of the light bulb that people got used to,” he said. “The new bulb is many times more expensive, and I hate to say it, it doesn’t make you look as good. Of course, being a vain person, that’s very important to me.”
“It gives you an orange look. I don’t want an orange look,” he added, to laughter at the table. “So we’ll have to change those bulbs in at least a couple of rooms where I am in the White House.”
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