The lowly commode might not be the most exciting fixture to talk about when thinking green, but these units can have a big effect on how much water your home consumes.  This can be especially important for homes located in rural areas, as many log homes are, since well water and septic systems are the norm there.

New technologies have been developed for High Efficiency Toilets (HETs) which use an amazing 20 percent less water per flush than earlier low-flow toilets. And if you’ve had doubts about the effectiveness of these HETs, the Environmental Protection Agency has developed a program called WaterSense, which tests toilet models for rigorous flush performance, ensuring user satisfaction. According to the WaterSense website, installing an HET can save up to 4000 gallons per year over traditional bowls, so it makes sense to check these HETs out.

Once the province of hard-to-locate models from overseas, HETs are now offered by most U.S. manufacturers, including Crane, Kohler (left) and Gerber.  One of the innovators in the field is Australian based Caroma (right), who now distributes widely in the U.S.

A good technical resource for High Efficiency Toilets is the California Urban Water Conservation Council’s website. Here you can find current ratings and testing results for a  broad range of HETs.