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Flushing Out the Best Low-Flow Toilets by Kathy Price-Robinson The battle lines are drawn in the ongoing controversy over low-flow toilets, which were mandated by the 1992 Energy Policy and Conservation Act. On one side are toilet manufacturers, environmentalists, and water utilities. Manufacturers, who want to preserve the tons of money they have invested retooling plants to make the new fixtures, prefer the federal standard over the patchwork of state and local standards it replaced. Environmentalists and water utilities also find the government influence tolerable if it leads Americans into conservation: At an average of five flushes per person per day, a family of four will save more than 13,000 gallons of water a year when