I appreciate what DeKalb County is trying to do here, but it seems pretty stupid once you dig into it. Starting in a few months, if you buy an older house in DeKalb County and it doesn’t have low-flow toilets, the county won’t hook up water to your house.
The move was praised by most people. From the article:
“This is really a pretty big deal,” said Sally Bethea, executive director of the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. She said metro Atlanta will face increasing pressure to conserve water as the population grows.
Here’s the catch – DeKalb County gets their water from the Chattahoochee River and returns the wastewater there. The “wasted” water that is flushed down the old toilets goes back into the river and finds its way to Jim Woodruff Dam in Florida. This is where they measure the flow of water coming from Atlanta to determine how much more to release from Lanier. As long as the water makes it back into the river, it’s not depleting the level of the lake. Here is a post from a few weeks ago where we went into more detail about that.
Granted, not 100% of the water makes it back, so this move will save a little bit of water. Some is lost to leaks, some evaporates, etc. However, given the horrible real estate market we’re in, anything that makes things hard on people trying to sell their house seems like a bad idea. From the article:
Barbara Campbell, president of the DeKalb Association of Realtors, wondered how the county would enforce its mandate on sellers to disclose their old toilets. Selling a house is hard enough, especially in this economy, she said. “When you’re selling your home, I don’t think you’re going to be announcing that.”