In economics, it’s called an “unintended effect”; in pharmacology, a “side effect.” In plumbing, it’s one heckuva stink.
Yes, it’s time again for a perennial Common Sense subject: Government messing around in our toilets.
The push to “save water” gushed into a number of proposals over the years, the closest-to-consumer one being the many government edicts demanding that toilets use less water.
Governments can make a regulation and process lawbreakers. But they can’t change the laws of liquid dynamics. Federal legislation for smaller-reservoir toilets yielded a generation of poorly flushing toilets — demanding double flushing to get solids down. It took years for inventive engineers and entrepreneurs to redesign toilets so that they could actually do their job right.
But Congress’s intrusion into your bathroom wasn’t enough for busybodies in San Francisco. They had to go further, with low-flow toilets that used even less water.
The consequence has now become pretty obvious: Too little water in the public sewage system, leading to slow-moving masses of ugh, clogging pipes, and, well stench.
San Francisco has proved that “well-intended” government regulation into our bathrooms quite literally stinks.
Frisco sewerage officials have stocked up on $14 million worth of bleach to “act as an odor eater and to disinfect the city’s water before it’s dumped into the bay.” Environmentalists are predictably and, well, understandably concerned.
What begins as an environmental concern ends as an environmental disaster.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.