A National Partnership to Save Water and Protect the Environment
WaterSense, is a voluntary partnership program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), designed to make it easy for Americans to save water and protect the environment by choosing water efficient products and services. Items that meet WaterSense specifications must be independently tested and/or certified, and only then can they carry the WaterSense label. Many WaterSense products and service providers are now available and the EPA is actively developing new specifications to expand the WaterSense family.
Best Management Practices:
WaterSense has developed WaterSense at Work, a compilation of water-efficiency best management practices, to help commercial and institutional facilities understand and better manage their water use, help facilities establish an effective water management program and identify projects and practices that can reduce facility water use. Learn more here.
WaterSense Product Certification System (Version 2.0):
As part of the ongoing effort to improve the WaterSense program, EPA released the WaterSense Product Certification System, Version 2.0 in September 2011. EPA revised the product certification system to accommodate growth and expansion of the WaterSense program while balancing the cost of certification with the program need to maintain the integrity of the WaterSense label. As of November 3, 2011, WaterSense transitioned to a new product notification process, in which the licensed certifying bodies directly notify EPA of which products have earned the WaterSense label. Manufacturers no longer provide this information directly to EPA. For more information, go to the WaterSense Product Certification page.
Notification of Intent:
Issued to Update the Specifications Covering Certification Programs for Irrigation Professionals and the WaterSense Irrigation Professional Partnership
With this notice of intent (NOI), WaterSense outlines several important changes under consideration that would foster program growth and expand the benefits of WaterSense irrigation partnership to more professionals. The program changes outlined in the NOI are two-fold: 1) WaterSense is proposing to restructure its current specifications for professional certification programs by creating a consolidated and common set of general requirements that would apply to all professional certifying organizations (PCOs). WaterSense will continue to create individual specifications for requirements specific to particular types of certification programs; and 2) WaterSense is considering expanding the benefits of partnership to all professionals certified by WaterSense labeled programs and, in doing so, remove the individual partnership designation.
Issued for Development a Draft Specification for Water-Efficient, High-Performing Cation Exchange Water Softeners
EPA's WaterSense wishing to capitalize on recent improvements in water softening technology, has issued a Notification of Intent (NOI) to develop a draft specification for water-efficient, high-performing cation exchange water softeners. The technology improvements demonstrate that there is great potential for water savings. The NOI outlines the efficiency and performance criteria WaterSense is working to define and the technical issues that still need to be resolved related to this product category. Learn more here.
Draft Specification for Commercial Pre-Rinse Spray Valves
On February 8, 2013, the EPA WaterSense program released its draft WaterSense specification for commercial pre-rinse spray valves. The draft specification is designed to ensure sustainable, efficient water and energy use and sufficient performance by proposing a maximum flow rate of 1.28 gallons per minute (gpm) and a minimum spray force of 5.0 ounces. By installing a WaterSense labeled pre-rinse spray valve, commercial food service establishments could save more than 7,000 gallons of water, 6,200 cubic feet of natural gas, and $115 annually—paying for the valve in as little as eight months. Visit theWaterSense pre-rinse spray valve page for submission instructions, templates, and more detailed technical information.
The EPA researched the impact of new high-efficiency PRSV's from the perspectives of water savings, effectiveness, and user satisfaction. The results were published in 2011 and are available here. EPA WaterSense (2011) Pre Rinse Spray Valves Field Study Report. The related NOI issued by EPA on July 10, 2009 can be found here.
Final Specification for New Homes, Version 1.1
EPA released a final specification for new homes on August 31, 2012. This specification will be effective January 1, 2013 and establishes the criteria for new homes labeled under the WaterSense program and is applicable to newly constructed single-family and multi-family homes. Learn more here.
Final Specification for Weather-Based Irrigation Controllers
EPA released a final specification for weather-based irrigation controllers on November 3, 2011. Manufacturers that produce weather-based irrigation controllers meeting EPA’s efficiency and performance criteria can apply to have their products certified to earn the WaterSense label. Before submitting products for testing, manufacturers must have a partnership agreement with EPA in place. Learn more here.
Final Specification for Showerheads
EPA released a final specification for showerheads on March 4, 2010. Manufacturers that produce showerheads meeting EPA’s efficiency and performance criteria can apply to have their products certified to earn the WaterSense label. Before submitting products for testing, manufacturers must have a partnership agreement with EPA in place. Learn more here.
Final Specification for Flushing Urinals
EPA released a final specification for flushing urinals on October 8, 2009. Manufacturers that produce urinal fixtures and flushing devices meeting EPA’s efficiency and performance criteria can apply to have their products certified to earn the WaterSense label. Before submitting products for testing, manufacturers must have a partnership agreement with EPA in place. Learn more here.
Final Specification for High-Efficiency Lavatory (Bathroom Sink) Faucets
EPA released a final specification on October 1, 2007, for high-efficiency bathroom sink faucets and faucet accessories (e.g., aerators). Manufacturers that produce faucets and aerators meeting WaterSense efficiency and performance criteria can apply to have their products certified and earn the WaterSense label. Before submitting products for testing, manufacturers must have a partnership agreement with EPA in place. Learn more here.
Final Specification for High-Efficiency Toilets
On May 19, 2011 EPA released a revised version of the Tank Type High-Efficiency Toilet Specification (version 1.0). The new version is now called the WaterSense Specification for Tank-Type Toilets (version 1.1). Version 1.1 contains some minor revisions, incorporates previous clarifications on adjustability and certification and labeling of tanks and bowls manufactured by different companies, and provides new clarifications for product/product packaging marking and labeling. Manufacturers have until November 1, 2011 to be in compliance with the new requirements. Learn more here.
Final Specifications for Programs That Will Certify Irrigation Professionals
EPA established specifications on October 27, 2006, to recognize certification programs for irrigation professionals in three areas: system design, installation and maintenance, and system auditing. Any certification program that meets the criteria outlined in the specification for one of these areas will be eligible for the WaterSense label. Learn more here.
Prior AWE Comments:
On WaterSense Draft Water-Efficient Single-Family New Home Specification
- Download AWE comments on draft specification v1.1 here.
- Download AWE comments on revised draft specification here.
- Download AWE comments on initial draft specification here.
- Download AWE comments on initial draft Certification System, Inspection Guidelines, and Irrigation Audit Guidelines here.
- For more information on the specification for new homes, go to the WaterSense New Homes page.
On WaterSense Draft Specification for Weather-Based Irrigation Controllers
On WaterSense Draft Specification for Showerheads
On WaterSense Draft Specification for Flushing Urinals
Partner of the Year Awards:
AWE is proud to be a WaterSense Promotional Partner
and is a 2012 Excellence Award Winner