With the year coming to an end, we figured we would talk about a fun “what if” topic. Consider this: what would be the ramifications if every Seattle toilet were flushed at the same time? Would nothing happen? Would residential plumbing clog up? Would the world come to an end?
Roughly 290,000 installed toilets exist in the city of Seattle. That includes every residential toilet and all the stalls in public facilities. The average toilet uses 3.5 gallons of water per flush. If people flushed every one of those at once, that would be 1,015,000 gallons of water running through the municipal sewer system at the same time. Could the pipes withstand the sudden surge?
We don’t know for sure what would happen. Here are some speculations:
- Some of the waterlines rupture
- Sewage water overflows into the streets
- Sewage water backs up in most homes. All residential bathrooms see up to four inches of flooding.
Toilets also need to refill after a flush. The water supply line may not be able to refill every toilet, leaving some bowls without water for a few hours.
The other possibility is that absolutely nothing would happen. Pipelines connected to the city’s water supply line are one-feet in diameter. This gives them plenty of space to accommodate a massive surge in use. Can they handle over one million gallons of incoming waste water? We will probably never know.
The Pacific Northwest chill is here. Contact Plumbing and Heating Specialist to service your heater. You can also contact us for plumbing issues. We have special offers for both service types. Every toilet’s being flushed at the same time is certainly a fun food-for-thought scenario.
Edited by Justin Vorhees
Serving Customers in Snohomish, King & Pierce Counties, including Lynnwood, Mukilteo, Edmonds, Mill Creek, Bothell, Snohomish, Shoreline, Brier, Mountlake Terrace, Maltby, Lake Forest Park, Everett, Marysville, Lake Stevens & Woodway