San Francisco's Crapper Control Goes Foul

This summer, as the San Francisco Giants were steaming toward winning the World Series, there was a noticeable stench surrounding their home field, AT&T Park.

The Giant’s ballyard hugs the San Francisco Bay.  During low tide, as the bay water ebbs, and microscopic organisms in the mud are exposed to air and rapidly begin to decay, creating a rotten smell. 

During past baseball seasons, fans continually complained of the low-tide stink.  However, the sulfur-like scent wasn’t the result of the ways of the sea.  It was caused by environmentalists having their way with Mr. Crapper’s invention—the flush toilet.

When Englishman Thomas Crapper designed his tank-flush toilet system in late 1800s, he used gravity to drive water from an elevated tank down into the bowl, where the water would quickly whisk the waste into the sewer.  Crapper’s design called for a satisfying rush of seven gallons of water. 

The flush toilet did not gain popularity in the United States until after World War I, when American troops came home from England talking about this new invention called “the crapper.”

American ingenuity took Crapper’s design, eliminated the elevated tank with its pull chain, and began manufacturing the traditional throne configuration we use today.  By the 1950s, commodes in the United States were adequately doing their thing with 3.5 gallons of water.

Then the eco-freaks got involved.

Because environmentalists are opposed to the construction of new dams and reservoirs, they naturally went straight to the loo in their search for ways to reduce water consumption.  Eco-lobbyists were able to slip a provision into the 1992 “Energy Policy Act” mandating that all residential toilets sold in the U.S. beginning in 1994 use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush.  A similar requirement for commercial buildings took effect in 1997.

Roto-Rooter has never been busier—1.6 gallons is not enough flushing power.

Be honest, we’ve all noticed the problem.  Bathroom visits often require a double flush.  And the bowl gets slimy faster too.  Why do you think there are so many products being advertised on TV to clean johnny these days?  Big Government has gotten into your latrine.

But, as usual, it’s worse in The People’s Republic of San Francisco.  Several years ago, to encourage its residents to pitch their old traditional cans and purchase a low-flow model, the green zealots running SF started a taxpayer-funded rebate program to help locals upgrade.  Shortly thereafter, city engineers started noticing sewer backups.  Since then, San Francisco has been forced to spend $100 million to upgrade its sewer system and sewage plants, in large measure to combat the problem. 

And further proving their lack of sanity, the kooks in City Hall instituted yet another rebate program of up to $125 per potty to those who upgraded to a toilet using only 1.28 gallons per flush.  To work properly, these privies require a third flush.

But even the sewer improvements are not enough.  AT&T Park smells like a pack of ripe hippies attending a summer Grateful Dead concert.

So now officials are stocking up on a $14 million, three-year supply of sodium hypochlorite—also known as bleach—to kill the odor and disinfect the city’s treated water before it’s dumped into the bay.  The bleach will also be used to treat San Francisco’s drinking water.  This means nearly nine million pounds of bleach will either be poured down city drains or into the drinking water supply every year.

The moral of the story:  When environmentalists mess with your crapper, the result stinks.