Trump Makes Strange Claim About Water Efficient Toilets: 'People Are Flushing Toilets 10 Times, 15 Times'
President Donald Trump mocked water-efficiency standards in new constructions last week. Trump said, "People are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times, as opposed to once. They end up using more water. So, EPA is looking at that very strongly, at my suggestion." Trump asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a federal review of those standards since, he claimed with no evidence, that they are making bathrooms unusable and wasting water, as NBC News reported.
Trump delivered his bizarre tangent on the state of modern bathrooms at a White House meeting about small business and red tape reduction.
"We have a situation where we're looking very strongly at sinks and showers, and other elements of bathrooms," Trum… https://t.co/XOBJK5etJv— The Washington Post (@The Washington Post)1575664684.0
He started by suggesting his beef with low-flow plumbing was for the American worker and is common sense. "But together, we're defending the American workers. We're using common sense," Trump said just before railing against modern plumbing, according to the White House's official transcript. "We have a situation where we're looking very strongly at sinks and showers and other elements of bathrooms, where you turn the faucet on — in areas where there's tremendous amounts of water, where the water rushes out to sea because you could never handle it," Trump said.
"You turn on the faucet and you don't get any water. They take a shower and water comes dripping out. Just dripping out, very quietly dripping out," Trump continued, lowering his voice as he spoke about the drips, as CNN reported.
He continued, "You go into a new building or a new house or a new home, and they have standards, 'Oh, you don't get water.' You can't wash your hands, practically, there's so little water comes out of the faucet. And the end result is you leave the faucet on and it takes you much longer to wash your hands. You end up using the same amount of water," according to NBC News.
It was not clear what standards President Trump was referring to or what exactly he asked the EPA to look into. However, he continued and suggested that most states have a water surplus that make low-flow toilets and sinks unnecessary.
"So we're looking at, very seriously, at opening up the standard. And there may be some areas where we'll go the other route — desert areas But for the most part, you have many states where they have so much water that it comes down — it's called rain — that they don't know, they don't know what to do with it. So we're going to be opening up that, I believe. And we're looking at changing the standards very soon," he said as NBC News reported.
Older toilets use as much as six gallons per flush. However, since the Energy Policy Act was implemented in 1994, toilets have been mandated to use 1.6 gallons of water or less per flush, according to the AP. That standard is implemented by the Department of Energy, not the EPA.
The EPA does have a voluntary program called Water Sense that labels efficient fixtures, such as faucets and showerheads, as CNN reported. The Water Sense program is similar to EnergyStar labeling.
After Trump's comments, Michael Abboud, an EPA spokesman, told CNN, the "EPA is working with all federal partners including Department of Energy to review the implementation of the Federal Energy Management Plan and how it's relevant programs interact with it to ensure American consumers have more choice when purchasing water products."
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What Is Ammonium Nitrate?<p>Ammonium nitrate is a white crystalline salt that can be fairly cheaply produced from ammonia and nitric acid. It is soluble and often used as fertilizer, as nitrogen is needed for healthy plant development.</p><p>Ammonium nitrate in its pure form is not dangerous. It is, however, heat sensitive. At 32.2 degrees Celsius (89.96 degrees Fahrenheit), ammonium nitrate changes its atomic structure, which in turn changes its chemical properties.</p><p>When large quantities of ammonium nitrate are stored in one place, heat is generated. If the amount is sufficiently vast, it can cause the chemical to ignite. Once a temperature of 170 C is reached, ammonium nitrate starts breaking down, emitting nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas. Any sudden ignition causes ammonium nitrate to decompose directly into water, nitrogen and oxygen, which explains the enormous explosive power of the salt.</p>
Deadly Disasters<p>As ammonium nitrate is a highly explosive chemical, many countries strictly regulate its use. Over the past 100 years, there have been several disasters involving the chemical.</p><p>In 1921, for example, a massive blast occurred at a BASF chemical plant in Ludwigshafen in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. About 400 metric tons of a mixture of ammonium sulfate and ammonium nitrate exploded, killing 559 people and injuring 1,977. The plant was largely destroyed in the blast, which could be heard as far away as Munich, some 300 kilometers (186 miles) distant.</p><p>In 2015, explosions caused by ammonium nitrate ripped through the <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/china-convicts-dozens-for-last-years-giant-explosions-in-tianjin/a-36324321" target="_blank">Chinese port city of Tianjin</a>. Eight hundred metric tons of the chemical were said to have been stored along with other substances in a warehouse for hazardous materials. The blasts killed 173 people and destroyed an entire city district.</p><p>Two years earlier, in 2013, an ammonium nitrate explosion occurred at the West Fertilizer Company site in Texas, killing 14 people. And in 2001, 31 people died in Toulouse, France, in an explosion caused by the chemical.</p>
Terrorist Favorite<p>In Germany, the purchase and use of ammonium nitrate is regulated by the explosives act. This is because the cheap, highly explosive and relatively easily obtainable material has in the past been used by terrorists to carry out attacks.</p><p>For example, in 1995, U.S. conspiracy theorist and gun enthusiast Timothy McVeigh used a mixture of ammonium nitrate and other substances to bomb the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Norwegian far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik also used ammonium nitrate in a car bomb attack in Oslo in 2011.</p>
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