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Tales of a toilet

Foreign flusher makes a splash in Yellowknife

Dawn Ostrem
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 05/01) - It may have been a project management conference that lured delegates to the Explorer Hotel last weekend, but it was a toilet that quickly became the talk of the conference.

NNSL Photo

Tony Suches toilet can flush potatoes without plugging up, something most low-flush toilets would be unable to do. - Dawn Ostrem/NNSL photo

Business people were dressed in suits and the buzz of networking and marketing was humming in conference rooms as the professionals held croissants and steaming java.

The reason for their flushing interest in the tank-toting throne was because this was no ordinary toilet.

It could flush potatoes. Distributor Tony Suche was up from Calgary with the plastic potato flushing wonder, representing Australimports Inc.

"You cant buy a plunger in Australia," he said. "A blocked toilet is unheard of."

That was the point in throwing in the spuds, three at a time, and watching them disappear into a bin under the set-up table at the conferences trade show.

After Suche got the corporate sector's attention with vegetables, he lured them into the real deal involved in the $300 Australian toilet.

An average flush sends about 13 litres of water through the sewer lines. With Suches toilet a user can choose between a half-flush for liquids (three litres) or a full-flush for the things hopefully not quite as solid as a potato (six litres).

"It has saved literally billions of dollars (in Australia)," Suche said.

"We met with the City (of Yellowknife) the other day. The water bills here are horrendous."

He said the toilet is also something diamond plant operators have been interested in since they are required to treat or ship sewage.

So, if the cost of water is about $2.65 for every 1,000 litres and a household flushes about 13,000 litres per month, the dual-flush toilet would reduce a monthly water bill from $34.45 to $27.56 per month. The aloo is said to reduce water usage by about 20 per cent.

" It is green, it is saving the environment and goodness knows how many millions of dollars," Suche said. "The toilet thing is really exciting."