From EPA’s WaterSense Currents
Since the program’s inception in 2006, WaterSense and its partners have helped consumers save 125 billion gallons of water. That’s equal to three days’ flow over Niagara Falls! Over the last five years, WaterSense labeled products have also helped users reduce their water and energy bills by more than $2 billion, avoid greenhouse gas emissions equal to removing 1.2 million cars from the road, and save enough energy to power more than 1.5 million American homes for a year. In Hampton Roads, many local water utilities also promote the WaterSense program and www.askHRgreen.org is proud to be a WaterSense partner!
As the program recognizes its fifth anniversary, WaterSense looks back on some of the water-saving advances of the past several decades.
Then: Remodelers and do-it-yourselfers hoarded water-hogging 3, 5, and even 7-gallon per flush toilets, because some of the first generation of low-flow toilets didn’t always do the job on the first flush.
Now: You can flush with confidence because WaterSense labeled toilets are independently certified to perform as well as or better than standard models.
Then: Sinks in shades of avocado and “Pepto®” pink featured faucets that flowed between 3 and 5 gallons per minute, needlessly sending excess water and money down the drain.
Now: You can find WaterSense labeled faucets, available in a variety of modern styles and price points to match any bathroom décor, which will use 30 percent less water than today’s standard models without a noticeable difference in flow.
Then: Low-flow showerheads could force users to take longer, less satisfying showers, cancelling out the water-saving benefits.
Now: You can shower with power while still saving water, because WaterSense conducted consumer testing to establish its performance criteria for labeled showerheads.
Then: Watering sidewalks and watering in the rain were commonplace water wasters. And planting a water-efficient yard meant sticking to cacti and rock gardens.
Now: You can use less water while helping to maintain beautiful, healthy landscapes by using professionals certified through WaterSense labeled programs to help design and maintain irrigation systems. In the future, you’ll be able to find WaterSense labeled weather-based irrigation controllers that use local weather data to ensure you’re not watering during rain showers.
Then: Even with a federal standard for flushing urinals that use just one gallon to flush, more than 65 percent of installed urinals could be using up to 5 gallons of water every time they flush.
Now: You can stand up for savings by installing WaterSense labeled flushing urinals that use at least 50 percent less water than the standard. Replacing just one inefficient urinal with a WaterSense labeled model can save a facility approximately 4길 gallons of water per year.
Then: Homes filled with inefficient plumbing fixtures and appliances were prone to leaks.
Now: When compared to a traditional house, a WaterSense labeled new home can save your family of four up to 50 gallons of water per year—and that’s just indoors. You would use that much water to shower for an entire decade!
So the next time you’re in the market for a new appliance or bathroom fixture, make sure it is water smart and look for the WaterSense label!