Water flow: I need to know

So last time there was a major water crisis in the Cambridge area in which we had reduced pressure due to a water main leak, I noticed something cool: it seems that toilets (at least in this State, if not the entire US) – and presumably other non-essential water devices – have a special inlet valve that operates only when water pressure is above a certain level. The net effect (quite ingeniously) appears to be that, when the water pressure is reduced, the toilet won’t fill. Thus, the lesser available resource is better utilized helping people drink rather than flush toilets.

Anyway. My question is, who designed this? And how prolific is the adoption of this standard? And (presumably) did Cambridge intentionally reduce the water pressure today due to the hurricane in order to avoid sewers from overflowing as people used water in non-essential ways? Inquiring minds want to know.


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