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Flappers Now Are Up-to-Date

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CARY — If you thought flappers are just party-time girlsfrom the Roaring Twenties, guess again. They are also plumbing devices,and the town of Cary wants its residents to have the most up-to-dateversions, called early closure flapper valves.

Amusing it may sound, but water conservation experts find it a veryserious matter. Installation of such devices could save significantamounts of water, and reduce homeowners' monthly water bills.

These early closure flapper valves replace ordinary valves in bathroomtoilet tanks. By closing faster than the standard valves most homes nowhave, less water is used in each flush.

The new devices ensure than no more than two gallons of water leavesthe storage tank to flush the bowl. Standard toilets use 3, 5 or 7gallons to flush a bowl.

To spur residents to switch flapper valves, the town of Cary willreimburse residents for half the cost of the $7 price tag. The newflappers will work only on older toilets. Since 1994, new homes mayhave only low-flow toilets, as required by the National EnergyPolicy Act.

Given Cary's enormous growth, and more expected, water is a seriousissue. The city's population is expected to be 100,000 by the year 2000. Frequently in summer, residents are told to reduce their waterconsumption. Town officials are waiting for state approval to draw anadditional 40 million gallons of water a day from Jordan Lake.

Still, the flapper could also play a part in cutting water use.Greensboro initiated a similar program, and now their water conservationstaff estimates that the flappers save more than 100,000 gallons for thecity.

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