How old is your toilet? Quite apart from where the top is chipped and the inside seat looks a trifle too used, there's another reason to replace it - old toilets use a lot of water. The Madison Water Utility wants to nudge you along the path to toilet replacement with rebates of up to $100 for residential customers who replace a high water volume toilet with an EPA WaterSense-rated High-Efficiency Toilet (HET). This is part of the utility's goal to reduce Madison's per capita water usage 20% by the year 2020.
HETs use fewer than 1.3 gallons of water per flush. Right now, no toilet can exceed 1.6 gallons per flush (per federal law), but toilets made before 1994 could use up to 3.5 gpf and those from before 1980 more than 5 gpf. And yes, each flush is costing you money as well as using up water.
You must live in a single-family home or condo, or an apartment building of no more than four units. You must be replacing an old toilet, and it's one rebate per household. And act now: it's first-come, first-served, until the fund money is gone. For a list of eligible high-efficiency toilets (two models by Kohler's Sterling Plumbing are pictured to the right), see the EPA's WaterSense website at