Enter Toto’s EcoPower faucet, which addresses--and apparently solves--the problem... The faucet raises the bar for water conservancy by using less than one-quarter of a gallon of water per cycle and turning off immediately when the hands are pulled away from the faucet. Additionally, this is the first sensor faucet to use a power source that is completely self-sufficient--a hydro-powered turbine that charges the power supply during usage, eliminating the need to replace batteries or use external electricity. That far exceeds the expectations of most public restroom sensor faucets, which typically rely on disposable batteries or require hardwiring to a building's electrical system to make them work. No wonder why the EcoPower faucet has already won loads of awards since coming on the market in 2002, including nods from Architectural Record, Environmental Building News, and, most recently, the Chicago Atheneum’s Good Design 2004 Award.
We’ve all used those auto-sensor faucets and toilets in public spaces from the Centre Pompidou to the Burger King off I-95, but just how well do some of them work? They certainly seem more hygienic than touching the same grubby fixtures that a million other fingers have groped, and they’re supposed to be more efficient, too, but how guilty do we feel when they keep running far after we’ve finished scrubbing the public’s germs from our palms?