Sep 05, 2012

EPA Updates WaterSense Specification

Revised specification takes effect Jan. 1, 2013

epa watersense plumbing irrigation

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) modified its specification for new homes to enable apartment and condominium units to earn the WaterSense label, update product requirements and adjust landscape criteria. WaterSense-labeled new homes allow residents to enjoy the comforts of home and save water and energy inside and out by using WaterSense-labeled plumbing fixtures, efficient hot water systems and low-maintenance, water-smart landscapes. Homes labeled after Jan. 1, 2013, must meet the criteria of the revised specification.

Highlights include:

  • New apartments or condos can earn the WaterSense label. Individual units in new residential buildings are eligible to earn the label, and builders must ensure that the common areas of these buildings also meet specific indoor and outdoor criteria.
  • WaterSense now requires builders of WaterSense-labeled homes to use EPA's Water Budget Tool to inform their landscape design. An easy-to-use, interactive version is available on the WaterSense website.
  • If an irrigation system with a weather-based irrigation controller is used to water the lawn, the controller must be a WaterSense-labeled model. WaterSense labeled controllers act like a thermostat for your lawn, using local weather data to determine when and how much to water.
  • Showerheads must be WaterSense-labeled models that use 2 gal per minute or less. WaterSense-labeled showerheads save homeowners more than 2,300 gal of water and 300 kilowatt-hours of energy per year.

Click here for the complete specification.