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Freedom To Flush

One of life's little choruses has been heard more softly since the government mandated low-flow toilets.

But when it comes to flushing, CBS News Correspondent Lisa Hughes found that people are outspoken about the government's role.

Plumbing distributor Jimmy Davis says, "When we first put them in everybody was complaining they had to flush the toilets twice."

But the newest commodes, he says, are a step up. They use the required 1.6 gallons of water, but with new jets that make flushing more effective.

Still, some lawmakers say we should have the freedom to flush without government limits.

Reading from a roll of toilet paper, Rep. Richard Burr, R-N.C., said low-flow was high cost for homeowners and builders, "adding as much as $200 to the cost of installing a new toilet in a home."

Even though people are supposed to be getting the new toilets, plumbers say the older, bigger toilets are in such demand, it's created a black market

Â"I hardly think the government has to enter into that,Â" said one woman.

But environmentalists insist the toilet rules save water. And in a drought year, that's a real concern.

Â"You imagine all the homes, people flushing 3 1/2 gallons,Â" says Davis Â"people are helping by flushing 1 1/2 gallons.Â"

Could they use even less?

Plumber Sean O'Connor offers this suggestion: Â"make a toilet that has an alternative, with two flushes. You know, one for no. 1, one for no. 2.Â"

You can have that choice now, but it'll cost you $895!