§ Lord Melchett
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What estimate the Thames Water Authority have made of the cost at 1981 prices of converting all toilets in London to a variable flush system, how long they estimate such a programme would take to complete and how many additional employees (in terms of full-time jobs per year) would be needed in each year of the programme.
§ The Earl of Avon
In desk studies made in 1980, the Thames Water Authority estimated that the total costs of converting WC cisterns within the area of their Metropolitan Water Division would be around £12 million with a relatively small maintenance cost incurred subsequently. The estimate has not been revalued to 1981 prices and the water authority have not drawn up a conversion programme or estimated additional manpower requirements. I understand that they are now examining the acceptability and effectiveness of several ways of reducing water demand including the use of variable flush WCs.