Michigan State Researcher Warns Some Toilet Plumbing Systems Lead to Disease

The plumbing industry is hot – with a high demand for new plumbers and plumbing services. The world of plumbing constantly changes. Toilet designs are changing too. But what often doesn’t change is the toilet plumbing systems they lead into. One Michigan State University researcher warns that could spell bad news for your health.

Many homes have adopted low-flow, high-efficiency toilets with flush volumes of two gallons or less. In 2016, more than 36-percent of American bathrooms had these. While these green toilets are great for conserving water, they can cause health problems when used with an old plumbing system. MSU researcher Ryan Julien measured the age of toilet water in high efficiency models. He says that the water in a green toilet stays in there for a lot longer than traditional toilets.  The increase in hydraulic retention time makes water dirty.

A new toilet with an old plumbing system means there’s less disinfectant residual and more pipe leaching. This perfect storm of variables leads to growth of pathogens like Legionella and other things that can cause tuberculosis and antibiotic-resistant Staph and Strep. Julien presented his conclusions with the Society for Risk Analysis.

Green plumbing is an emergent force in the plumbing world and becoming more popular nationally. Codes and code updates are also changing. Today’s plumbers need a good grasp of all kinds of residential and commercial systems to stay ahead of the curve.

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