Trump rattles bathroom-appliance market with gripes about water regulation

'The EPA is looking at that very strongly'

WASHINGTON  — When it comes to toilets, President Trump just wants to let it flow.

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Trump said Friday that his administration is looking into relaxing water-saving regulations for toilets, sinks and showers, saying consumers end up using even more water by flushing multiple times and trying to get clean with low water streams.

“People are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times as opposed to once. They end up using more water,'' Trump said while talking with business owners about what he said are ‘’common sense'' steps to end overregulation. "The EPA is looking at that very strongly at my suggestion.''

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Bathroom appliances such as showers, toilets and sinks were the largest segment of the $75 billion global plumbing fixtures market in 2016 and are expected to maintain that position as the industry swells to $112 billion by 2023, according to Allied Market Research.

Use of low-flush toilets started in the 1990s after President George H.W. Bush signed the Energy Policy Act. The 1992 law said new toilets could use no more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush. The law went into effect in 1994 for residential buildings and 1997 for commercial structures.

President Trump speaks during a small business roundtable on Friday, Dec. 6 in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Trump said he's also looking at possibly relaxing regulations for sinks and showers.

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“You go into a new building, a new house or a new home and they have standards and you don't get water,'' he said. "You can't wash your hands, practically, there's so little water that comes out of the faucet. And the end result is you leave the faucet on and it takes you so much longer to wash your hands, and you end up using the same amount of water.''

Trump said relaxing water-conservation standards might not be practical in some arid regions of the nation, but in many states, there is plenty of water. ‘’It comes down. It's called rain,'' he said.

Americans use an average 400 gallons of water every day, more than two-thirds of it indoors, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Toilets account for roughly 27 percent and showers another 17 percent, the agency says.