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Israeli water-saving invention comes up flush
Posted By David Brinn On August 29, 2004 @ 9:00 pm In | No Comments
Joe Molcho – There’s no reason why anyone with a standard toilet cannot make the conversion to the TwoFlush system.
“It all started when five years ago I flushed my brother’s toilet in Israel,” Joe Molho explained from his home in Canada. “I realized I had a choice of two handles to flush to save water.”
From that inauspicious act, entrepreneur Molho has spent the ensuing years developing the technology to convert North American toilets to a water-and-money-conserving two-flush system based on the Israeli system.
Americans use about 4.8 billion gallons of water every day to flush waste. This is based on 101.5 million households with an average of two toilets per home. Each household used around 78 gallons of water daily to flush.
“I said to myself that we should have the same thing in North America,” said Molho, referring to the patented water conservation system developed by Israel’s Plasson Ltd. “But in 1999, nobody was talking about water shortages or how conservation was needed in various places because of droughts.”
Around 2001 when concerns about water shortages were becoming more prominent, Molho decided to act on his ‘in-the-bathroom-thinking’ and visited the Plasson manufacturing plant in Israel. What he found was a system that he thought could be adapted for America.
“Most of Europe was using a two-flush system,” Molho explained, “but the flush handle was on the right hand side of the tanks in Europe, plus, the toilet tanks are different configurations than in North America.”
Starting his own company – Aquanotion – Molho quickly determined which parts were critical to the two-flush system – no matter which side of the tank the handles are on – and obtained exclusive rights in Canada, the U.S.A. and Mexico for a flush valve from Plasson.
“Since Joe first approached, I’ve been working with him to develop his system,” Plasson’s Oded Regev told ISRAEL21c. “We provided the base of the two-flush mechanism for him, and he’s adapted the handles that suit the American-sized tanks. We have a good relationship, and help him technically as much as we can.”
Plasson, based at Kibbutz Ma’agan Michael, is a world class manufacturer of plastic products for the water, gas and telecom industries, with annual revenue of $100 million and over 550 employees. But the company had humble beginnings.
In 1964 a far-sighted group of agriculturalists decided that as farming was becoming more dependent on technology, they should modernize and enhance their own labor methods. Their first products were transportation cages and drinkers for poultry. Later, they developed a range of plastic fittings for plastic pipes. Today, Plasson fittings are used in agriculture, industry, mines, sewage, municipal water systems, gas conveyance and telecommunications.
“Our two-flush system is only currently being used in Israel, but over 85% of our other product lines – including compression fittings and poultry watering equipment – are sold for export. We have subsidiaries all over the world -including Germany, France, Italy, Australia, the U.K and Brazil,” said Regev.
Molho was visiting his brother Mordechai who lives close to Ma’agan Michael on Moshv Megadim when he first encountered Plasson’s two flush toilet.
“Mordechai had a dual flush toilet like most Israeli have,” Molho told ISRAEL21c. “It was his suggestion to ‘just go next door to Plasson and see – maybe you can do something with it in Canada.’ And this is where we are a few years later and a lot of investment. We’re in the process of establishing contracts with distributors and wholesalers to retail the product all over the U.S Canada and Mexico.”
“Plasson was very cooperative and helpful in developing a relationship. Oded Regev has been helping me – any time we had an operational problem he managed to smooth it and to allow the process to continue,” said Molho
The Aquanotion TwoFlush system that Molho has completed developing can upgrade high flow 3.2, 3.4 and 4.75 gallon toilets as well as the 1.6 gallon, although it will only work with the two-piece toilets.
Molho has ensured installation of his TwoFlush conversion unit would not require a plumber or special tools and costs under $50. With TwoFlush, the average two-bathroom household can reduce water usage by 3,000 gallons per annum.
Molho said that he reversed the handles to conform to North American use and has a patent pending. “In my TwoFlush system, one handle is a full flush (for number two) and the other is a half flush (for the far more frequent number one). He also ensured that his North American TwoFlush system would cost in the range of $50 at any major supply store and that installation would not require a plumber or special tools.
According to Plasson’s Regev, it’s only a matter of time before North Americans begin to see the virtues of the two-flush system.
“The two-flush system is getting more popular all over the worlds. The last few years, the global water problem has become more prevalent, and it seems to be the right time to introduce this water-saving measure. The American market is usually more conservative when it comes to making major changes, but this change appears inevitable,” he said.
One indication of that is the reception Molho’s system received last October at the International Trade Show for Kitchen & Bath, Plumbing & Heating and Air Conditioning in Las Vegas.
“There were 90 exhibits in different categories and our category was Kitchen & Bath and when they announced that our prototype had won the prize for innovation, my knees buckled,” said Molho.
The bottom line, according to Molho is that the TwoFlush system conserves water, thus saving money. “And that is a step towards preserving our environment and our bank balance,” Molho said. “There’s no reason why anyone with a standard toilet cannot make the conversion to the TwoFlush system.”
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