WaterSense Program

WaterSense, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) partnership program launched in 2006, seeks to enhance the market for water-efficient products and services by building a national brand for water efficiency. If you have questions about WaterSense or labeled products, please contact the WaterSense Helpline at 866-WTR-SENS (987-7367) or by e-mail.

Consumers Save Money, Water with EPA's WaterSense Program

In 2009, EPA's WaterSense program helped consumers save more than 36 billion gallons of water and $267 million on their water and sewer bills. That's nearly four times as much water as consumers saved with WaterSense labeled toilets, faucets, and faucet accessories in 2008.

"By raising awareness about the value of smart water use, the WaterSense program encourages consumers to take environmental action into their own hands," said Peter S Silva, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Water. "WaterSense labeled products provide Americans another opportunity to keep the country moving towards a green economy."

EPA created WaterSense in 2006 as a voluntary program to label products that are at least 20% more water efficient and perform as well as or better than standard models. WaterSense labels toilets, bathroom faucets and faucet accessories, flushing urinals, new homes, and, most recently, residential shower heads. WaterSense also certifies programs for irrigation professionals.

With about 17% of all residential indoor water use in the United States going to showering, replacing a water-hogging shower head with a WaterSense labeled model can save enough water each year to wash more than two months' worth of laundry. Like all WaterSense labeled products, shower heads must be independently tested and certified to meet EPA's efficiency and performance criteria before they can earn the label.

With the addition of shower heads, consumers can now renovate their bathrooms with a full suite of WaterSense labeled products. A bathroom remodel that includes a WaterSense labeled toilet, faucet, and shower head will not only conserve water, but also save enough electricity each year to run a refrigerator for two months and save about $60 in utility bills. WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by EPA, seeks to protect the future of our nation's water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products, new homes and services.

EPA Releases Final WaterSense Specification for New Homes

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is pleased to announce the release of its WaterSense Single-Family New Home Specification, creating the first national, voluntary specification for water-efficient new homes.

"Home builders can now partner with EPA and earn the WaterSense label for their newly built homes, helping to create livable communities and quality homes that are easy to maintain," said Peter S Silva, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Water. "These homes will save homeowners as much as $200 a year on utility bills compared to their current homes."

These homes will feature WaterSense labeled plumbing fixtures, Energy Star qualified appliances (if installed), water-efficient landscaping, and hot water delivery systems that deliver hot water faster, so homeowners don't waste water-or energy-waiting at the tap.

By investing in WaterSense labeled homes, American home buyers can reduce their water usage by more than 10,000 gallons per year-enough to fill a backyard swimming pool-and save enough energy annually to power a television for 4 years.

Designed to complement existing green building programs, WaterSense labeled new homes will be 20% more efficient than typical new homes, and must be independently inspected and certified by an EPA licensed certification provider to meet the WaterSense criteria for water efficiency and performance. The roles and responsibilities of all applicable parties are defined in more detail in the final specification.

EPA wants to thank the hundreds of partners and stakeholders that helped develop the specification. And now WaterSense looks forward to working with our program partners to spread the word about this exciting new opportunity! Please help us welcome into the WaterSense partnership builders and other organizations that want to bring WaterSense labeled new homes to their communities.

WaterSense Releases Draft Specification for Weather-Based Irrigation Controllers

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its WaterSense draft specification for weather-based irrigation controllers. EPA encourages all interested partners and other stakeholders to provide comments on the draft specification before the January 18, 2010 deadline. This specification represents an exciting milestone for the program, as it will be the first irrigation product to be eligible for the WaterSense label.

Weather-based irrigation controllers have the potential to save significant amounts of water, both individually and at the national level. An estimated 13.5 million irrigation systems are currently installed in residential lawns across the United States, and an additional 308,000 new systems are installed each year as a part of new home construction. Of the 13.5 million installed units, less than 10% use weather-based controllers to schedule irrigation, with the majority using standard clock timer controllers. Replacing a standard clock timer controller with a WaterSense labeled controller could save 11,600 gallons per household per year-which adds up to a potential savings of nearly 150 billion gallons per year across the United States.

As with all WaterSense specifications, the draft weather-based irrigation controller specification includes performance criteria to ensure the controllers can adequately meet landscape watering needs without over watering. The draft specification addresses both stand-alone and add-on controllers that utilize current climatological data and some form of evapotranspiration (ET) data as a basis for scheduling irrigation.

WaterSense to Label First Commercial Product - Flushing Urinals

With the recently finalized WaterSense specification for flushing urinals, you will soon see WaterSense labeled products in commercial and institutional restrooms.

WaterSense labeled urinals have the potential to help save businesses and institutions water and money on utility bills. If all urinals installed before 1994 were replaced with WaterSense labeled models, it would save nearly 36 billion gallons of water annually-equal to the flow over Niagara Falls in 20 hours.

To earn the WaterSense label, urinals must flush using no more than half a gallon, well below the current federal standard of 1.0 gallon per flush (gpf). Older models installed before regulations were in place can use even more water-as much as 5.0 gpf. As with all WaterSense labeled products, urinals must undergo independent, third-party testing and certification before earning the WaterSense label.

Schools, restaurants, businesses, and other commercial buildings can benefit from the financial savings of WaterSense labeled urinals. If a high school of 1,000 students replaced its inefficient urinals, for example, it could save enough to supply water for nearly 700 households.

EPA estimates that there are about 12 million urinals currently in use in the United States, and up to 65% of them are inefficient models that use significantly more than the federal standard. For every inefficient urinal replaced with a WaterSense labeled model, 4,600 gallons are saved annually.

EPA Announces Notice of Intent for Pre-Rinse Spray Valves

WaterSense and Energy Star are teaming up to develop a specification for pre-rinse spray valves. The programs have issued a joint notice of intent (NOI) that outlines EPA's approach to developing the draft specification, the efficiency and performance criteria EPA is working to define, and the technical issues that still need to be resolved. EPA will hold a webinar to discuss the scope of a proposed pre-rinse spray valve research study and next steps in the specification development process on Wednesday, September 30 from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. (Eastern Time).

Less Is More-a Lot More

Savings, that is. In 2008, consumers who installed WaterSense labeled toilets, faucets, and faucet accessories helped save more than 9.3 billion gallons of water and realized $55 billion in savings on water and sewer utility bills.

These savings resulted from the sale of 1.38 million WaterSense labeled toilets and 4.4 million WaterSense labeled bathroom faucets and aerators. To date, buyers can choose from more than 300 different toilet models and more than 1,000 different types of water-saving faucets and accessories such as aerators that have earned the WaterSense label since 2007.

And water is only part of the equation. WaterSense labeled faucets saved U.S. households nearly 1 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity from not heating the extra water, and utilities saved an additional 25 million kWh of electricity that otherwise would have been needed to pump and treat that water. This avoided the production of nearly 1 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to removing 180,000 automobiles from the road for one year. Something to contemplate the next time you wash your hands-with a WaterSense labeled faucet, we hope.

Congress Moves on Water Efficiency Legislation

The Water Advanced Technologies for Efficient Resource Use Act (H.R. 2368) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives May 12, 2009. The bill calls for $50 million in funding for state and local rebate and incentive programs that encourage the adoption of water-efficient products and services. Additionally, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed the Water Infrastructure Financing Act (S. 1005) May 14, 2009. This bill contains increased investment in the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Funds and expanded eligibility for funding stormwater management, water conservation, and efficiency projects.

For more information visit govtrack.us and learn specifically about the Water Advanced Technologies for Efficient Resource Use Act (H.R. 2368) and the Water Infrastructure Financing Act (S. 1005).

More Than 1,000 WaterSense Labeled Products Available

To access the quickly growing list of WaterSense labeled toilets, faucets, and faucet accessories.

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Every Drop Counts

Did you know that the average American uses 100 gallons of water every day? But we can all reduce our water use by as much as 30 percent by taking a few simple steps, such as installing high-efficiency plumbing fixtures and using water efficiently in our yards.

The Westford Water Department is committed to protecting the future of our national and local water supply through water-efficient practices, products, and services. That is why we are partnering with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to bring to you WaterSense, a national program that offers people a simple way to make product choices that use less water—and perform as well or better than your existing products.

Why You Should Care

Using water efficiently will conserve supplies for future generations.
Protecting and preserving the nation’s water supply is critical to our economic future and human health.
WaterSense labeled products and services offer equivalent or superior performance.
Purchasing WaterSense labeled products can help you protect the environment and help you save money on utility bills.

Test Your WaterSense

Think you know everything there is to know about water? You can’t be sure until you’ve played EPA’s new “Test Your WaterSense” online quiz. Maneuver the hero Hydro through water pipes and answer water-efficiency questions while avoiding water-wasting monsters such as Sogosaurus and Drainiac.