What is WaterSense and Why Is It Important?

The WaterSense certification is something you’ll see on many water-related products. These products are highly water- and energy-efficient, making them excellent options when choosing water supplies for your home or business.

Here’s what you need to know about WaterSense.

What is WaterSense?

The WaterSense label was launched in 2006 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as a way to raise awareness about water conservation. It encourages the use of water efficient products and practices.

When a product carries the label, it certifies the product as being water-efficient and environmentally friendly.

By the end of 2018, the use of WaterSense certified products had saved over 3.4 trillion gallons of water, which translates to about $84.2 billion in water and energy bills and 462.5 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity.

WaterSense certified products save at least 20% more water than their regular counterparts.

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What Products Carry the WaterSense Label?

Not all water related products meet the criteria and pass the independent testing required to be awarded the WaterSense label. This is why the products that do have the label are considered of high-quality and environmental efficiency.

WaterSense products cover a wide range of categories, including plumbing, agriculture, filtration systems and so on. Here some of the products which can be WaterSense certified:

1- Faucets

A kitchen faucet uses around 2.2 gallons per minute (gpm) which is the industry standard. However, a WaterSense labeled kitchen faucet has a maximum flow of 1.5 gpm, while a bathroom faucet has a flow rate of 1.2 gpm.

This might not seem like much, but let’s do the math:

  • 5-minute use of 2.2 gpm per day = 11 gallons x 365 days = 4,015
  • 5-minute use of 1.5 gpm per day = 7.5 gallons x 365 = 2,737.5

By switching to a lower gpm, you’ve saved 1,277.5 gallons of water. This is a basic example, because the average household uses much more water in the kitchen than 5 minutes a day.

Don’t forget that by adding a kitchen faucet aerator, you can save even more water.

WaterSense Certified Faucets

2- Showerheads

Showering takes up around 17% of the total water usage in a household. The average person uses around 15.8 gallons of water per day just for showering. The graphic below shows how much water you can save by shortening your showers or switching to a WaterSense product.

water usage for shower

The difference between a WaterSense showerhead and the average showerhead with a low gpm, is that WaterSense products ensure that they don’t lose efficiency and quality simply because they have a restricted water flow. These certified showerheads aim to be equal to or better than regular showerheads.

Today, all showerheads used in the U.S can only have a maximum water flow of 2.5 gpm, but WaterSense certified showerheads must be 2.0 gpm or below.

WaterSense Certified Showerheads

3- Toilets

Before 1994, toilets would use about 3 to 7 gallons per flush. However, since 1994, the maximum amount of water a toilet can use per flush is 1.6 gallons.

Over time, toilets have become more water efficient with newer models having excellent flushing capabilities. WaterSense certified toilets use up to 20% less water than the average toilet, with a standard gallon per flush (gpf) of 1.28. Toilets that offer dual-flush capabilities typically range from 1.0 to 1.6 gpf.

This is a significant saving, considering that an average household of 4 people uses the toilet up to 20 times.

WaterSense Certified Toilets

4- Irrigation Controller

WaterSense irrigation controllers are smartly built like thermostats. They tell your sprinkler system when to turn on and off depending on the local weather and landscape conditions. This is in contrast to traditional irrigation controllers which work on a schedule and a timer.

The customization of WaterSense irrigation controllers ensures that the plants and grass get the irrigation they need without unnecessary water wastage. They can save up to 50% of the water used to irrigate your lawns and garden.

WaterSense Certified Smart Irrigation Controllers

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Why Choose WaterSense Products

As we’ve discussed, WaterSense certified products offer many benefits. These include:

  • Save water by up to 20% or more on water supplies
  • Save money on your utility bills
  • Save energy by reducing your water usage
  • Some water companies offer rebates if you use WaterSense certified products, offering you the opportunity to save more
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The Bottom Line

Products with the WaterSense are independently certified and gives you the peace of mind that the product is of high-quality, efficiency and sustainable.

Always look for the WaterSense label when purchasing relevant water supplies because it will save you money, energy and most importantly water with every use.

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