Skimping on toilet water by using low-flow toilets has resulted in more sludge backing up inside San Francisco’s sewer pipes, says Tyrone Jue, spokesman for the city Public Utilities Commission. This has created a rotten-egg smell in certain areas, especially during the drier summer months. The city has already invested $100 million over the past five years to upgrade its sewer system and sewage plants, in part to combat the odor problem. Now officials are stocking up on a $14 million, three-year supply (about 8.5 million pounds) of highly concentrated sodium hypochlorite (a.k.a. bleach) to counteract the odor and disinfect the city's treated water before it is dumped into the bay.
So, are the supposedly environmentally friendly low-flow toilets really worth all this trouble? On the one hand, they have helped reduce San Francisco's annual water consumption by about 20 million gallons ... (San Francisco Chronicle)