New regulations go into effect January 2016
California regulators have been speeding up water-efficiency standards for faucets, toilets and urinals in response to the state's fourth year of drought. The new regulations, which have been signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown go into effect January 2016.
"Invariably more water is consumed in restrooms than any other part of a facility," said Klaus Reichardt of Waterless Co. Inc. The main exception is if the facility has landscaped areas that must be irrigated.
The following is a review of the new rules:
- Urinals can flush no more than a 1/8 gal of water per flush. While some urinals now flush about 1/2 gal of water per flush, these are the exception. Most urinals use about one gallon of water or more per flush.
- Faucets must be adjusted so that they use no more than 1.2 gal of water per minute (gpm) in homes and 1.8 gpm in commercial facilities. Most traditional faucets use about 2.2 gpm.
- Toilets can use no more than 1.28 gal of water per flush. The national regulated amount is 1.6 gal per flush but just like urinals, many toilets flush two, three or more gallons of water per flush.
The new regulations apply to new construction and not to older buildings. However, Reichardt believes many older facilities are expected to retrofit their restrooms with more water efficient fixtures since it can help lower water consumption so significantly.
It is expected that by 2016, 10 billion gal of water will be saved and eventually this will rise to as much as 100 billion gal as new homes and commercial facilities are coming online.
"As the oldest manufacturer of no-water urinal systems in the United States, we have seen the market four waterless urinals fluctuate over the decades," Reichardt said. "But because of what is happening in California and other western states, there is definitely an increase in interest in no-water urinals throughout North America."