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Flushing Power — Mississauga, Canada

by Anne Miltenburg

Older North American toilets, with their large tanks and forceful suction, are notorious water wasters. Newer models use less water and promise the same powerful flush, but consumers are not always convinced. To make the flushing power of water-saving toilets quantifiable, the industry has come up with an independent performance test. As a stand-in for human faeces, which are not only unhygienic, but also difficult to obtain in large quantities from a reliable source, miso soup paste is used by laboratories that test the models by extruding the paste into 100g (3.5oz), sausage-shaped chunks, reportedly an extremely realistic test medium. Fixtures are tested with up to 1kg (2.2lb) of waste (more than four times the average load of an adult American male).

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