Needy households to get new toilets for free

The 9-litre flush toilets (right) in old HDB flats use twice as much water as new models. These toilets were phased out in 1992.
The 9-litre flush toilets (above) in old HDB flats use twice as much water as new models. These toilets were phased out in 1992.PHOTOS: PUB

PUB to replace toilets in old HDB flats with water-efficient ones over the next three years

National water agency PUB will replace for free the 9-litre flush toilets fitted in older Housing Board flats for lower-income households, it said yesterday.

These toilets, which were phased out in 1992, use twice as much water as new models, PUB said.

Eligible households will be getting more water-efficient ones over the next three years.

The project, announced during this year's Budget debate, aims to help these families save water by replacing the toilets, and any non-water-efficient washbasin taps and kitchen sink taps.

About 9,000 families currently on community assistance schemes and living in HDB flats built between 1986 and 1992 are expected to benefit.

"Nine-litre water closets use nearly twice the amount of water per full flush, compared to more water-efficient water closets," said Mr Michael Toh, PUB's director of water supply (network).

SAVING WATER

We hope that helping these families replace their non-water-efficient water closets and taps will help them save water and reduce their water bills by as much as 10 per cent.

MR MICHAEL TOH, PUB's director of water supply (network).

"We hope that helping these families replace their non-water-efficient water closets and taps will help them save water and reduce their water bills by as much as 10 per cent."

Currently, each three-room HDB household pays an average of $33 per month in water bills.

Mountbatten MP Lim Biow Chuan said: "It will help residents because most of the older flats don't have things like the half-flush. Hopefully residents will benefit from using less water."

The half-flush is part of a dual-flush feature that releases different amounts of water depending on which button is pushed.

However, he added that he has not received many complaints specific to residents' water bills. "With the rebates, it really helps to cushion the prices. So I don't know how significant the savings would be to the majority."

PUB said starting this month, it will progressively inform eligible households of the project, and will begin with 5,700 households living in HDB three-room flats.

These households can then contact PUB or its appointed contractor to arrange for the replacement of their 9-litre toilet.

The second phase will commence in October for the remaining eligible HDB flats. Details of the project can be found on PUB's website at www.pub.gov.sg

• Additional reporting by Camillia Deborah Dass

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 09, 2017, with the headline 'Needy households to get new toilets for free'. Print Edition | Subscribe