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In many places across America, saving water is more than a good deed – it’s a civic duty. In California and other regions stricken by drought, saving water by using WaterSense toilets, showerheads and faucets has become a virtual necessity. It’s easy to find a product that meets your needs, or a rebate for purchasing a WaterSense product, most likely made by a member of Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI).
The WaterSense label assures customer satisfaction for plumbing product buyers, just as the Energy Star label assures appliance buyers. WaterSense products have already saved Americans more than 2 trillion gallons of water and more than $46 billion in water and energy costs. Replacing older toilets, showerheads and faucets with WaterSense products can save billions more.
The WaterSense label shows that the toilet, showerhead, faucet or other product has met U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) criteria for product performance while using at least 20% less water than federal water-efficiency requirements.
To earn the WaterSense label, a toilet must pass the test of flushing 350 grams of soybean paste with a flush of 1.28 gallons or less of water – that’s at least 20% less water than the current federal standard maximum of 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf). WaterSense-certified toilets also must have a chemical-resistant flush valve flapper or seal to prevent leaks over time.
Water-efficient lavatory faucets bearing the WaterSense logo must have a flow of no more than 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm) at 60 pounds per square inch (psi) of water pressure. They must also have no less than 0.8 gpm at 20 psi of water pressure to ensure they provide adequate flow for hand washing.
Showerheads that earn the WaterSense label must demonstrate that they use no more than 2.0 gpm at the allowable flow rate. In addition to the water-efficiency criteria, WaterSense showerheads must meet three key performance attributes identified through consumer testing: spray force, spray coverage, and flow rate across a range of pressures. When installing WaterSense showerheads or any other with less than 2.5 gpm, make sure your shower is equipped with a valve designed to protect against thermal shock and scalding at the flow rate of the showerhead being used. Ideally, the showerhead/valve combination is verified by the product manufacturer(s).
For a list of WaterSense-labeled toilets, faucets and showerheads, please visit EPA's WaterSense website.
To learn more, read our WaterSense is Common Sense brochure.