EU to lay down the law on toilets
The European Union will unveil rules next week to standardise the flush on lavatories, despite the admission that there are "very significant variations" on flushing habits across Europe "including cultural aspects".
Plans for the harmonised euro-flush will be tabled by the European Commission as part of an "Ecolabel" acting as a "gold standard" for officially approved lavatories aimed at cutting water use.
The EU standard follows almost three years of work by civil servants and difficulties in the workability of a one-size-fits-all rule for drains that vary greatly across the continent.
Flushing as a percentage of household water use varies across the EU, with Britons using twice as much, 30pc, as Finns, at 14pc, to flush their lavatories.
Luxembourg, at 34pc, has the highest usage.
The new EU standard will set a maximum full flush of six litres and set a ceiling for the reduced flush of three litres on dual-flush lavatories.
Britain had asked for a euro-flush of four litres.