The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the regulatory body that oversees the protection of Americans and our natural ecosystems from health risks through research and the development and enforcement of laws and environmental standards.
WaterSenseⓇ is a voluntary partnership program sponsored by the EPA that is designed to increase and promote water efficiency. It is a resource for water conservation education efforts, as well as an official label for water-efficient residential and commercial products.
At Indiana American Water, we’re committed to the EPA’s mission to promote ethical water consumption and improved water conservation across the nation. Read on to learn more about the EPA’s WaterSenseⓇ standards and be sure to check out our Indiana-based water education efforts.
What is WaterSenseⓇ?
WaterSenseⓇ is a water efficiency program most commonly applied in the form of the WaterSenseⓇ label. With this designation, the EPA hopes to make water-efficient products and programs more accessible to the general public.
The organization partners with manufacturers, retailers, distributors, homebuilders, irrigation professionals, and utilities to increase WaterSenseⓇ awareness across every state. On average, WaterSenseⓇ-labeled products and services use at least 20 percent less water than their non-certified counterparts.
While the WaterSenseⓇ label is most often applied to plumbing or residential water-related products, it can also be used to identify energy- and water-efficient homes. These homes must be built with WaterSenseⓇ plumbing products, be free of leaks, and be constructed to be at least 30 percent more water-efficient than the average U.S. home.
On the programming side, the EPA uses the WaterSenseⓇ label to certify irrigation professionals who focus on water-efficient practices and have undergone thorough professional testing and certifications. At its core, WaterSenseⓇ is an initiative to conserve water resources so that future generations can have access to safe drinking water and efficient plumbing infrastructure.
The Importance of the WaterSenseⓇ Label
Did you know that only 1 percent of the Earth’s natural water sources are available for human use? That makes water a critical, but fragile resource that cannot be taken for granted.
By replacing your residential plumbing products with WaterSenseⓇ label products, you can help preserve this precious resource for years to come. The benefits of the EPA’s WaterSenseⓇ include:
- WaterSenseⓇ-labeled showerheads can save 4 gallons of water from every shower.
- Replacing an old faucet with a WaterSenseⓇ faucet can save 700 gallons each year.
- A WaterSenseⓇ irrigation controller can save up to 15,000 gallons each year compared to a clock-based controller.
The most important aspect of WaterSenseⓇ is that using these products and taking part in programs helps to spread awareness of the importance of proper conservation and the the need for water efficiency in every area of our lives.
What are the Standards for WaterSenseⓇ Labeled Products?
To obtain a WaterSenseⓇ label, the EPA’s efficiency and performance criteria must be met. These standards can be broken into four distinct categories:
The technical specification development process is ongoing. The EPA is constantly creating new specifications that list the requirements a product, home, or program must meet for the WaterSenseⓇ label to be applied.
Detailed product specifications can be found on the EPA’s website. The EPA works with other standards organizations and stakeholders to continuously evolve these specifications to accommodate industry innovations and changing technology.
When a product or home earns the WaterSenseⓇ label, the final step is to certify that this designation is appropriate and adheres to all existing standards. The EPA has strict rules on the certification process.
WaterSenseⓇ-labeled products must be independently certified by an EPA-licensed certifying body that is accredited specifically for WaterSenseⓇ certification services. They must certify the product is in accordance with Version 2.1 of the WaterSenseⓇ Product Certification System, released in January 2016. Since that year, the EPA has made revisions to ensure equitable and continued enforcement of the requirements is accurate and achievable.
A professional certification program seeks to educate irrigation professionals in WaterSenseⓇ specifications and products. To be recognized as a WaterSenseⓇ professional partner, a certification program must first earn the WaterSenseⓇ label itself.
WaterSenseⓇ currently has certified programs for irrigation auditors, irrigation installation and maintenance professionals, and irrigation designers. To learn more about the program eligibility requirements or to apply for a WaterSenseⓇ label for your program, visit the EPA’s website.
Similar to professional certification, the EPA’s program guidelines outline what a WaterSenseⓇ program can consist of, how it operates, and, most importantly, how the label is used. These guidelines were developed to ensure consistency and the highest level of efficiency possible across all WaterSenseⓇ products and programs.
Current WaterSenseⓇ Products
The list of WaterSense-labeled products is ever-changing as the EPA continues to develop the technical specifications required to obtain a WaterSenseⓇ label. The organization’s WaterSenseⓇ Product Search Tool allows you to find the specific products you need in your home that have been labeled water-efficient.
WaterSenseⓇ products, such as WaterSenseⓇ-labeled toilets or bathroom sink faucets, come in a range of price points and styles so every homeowner or plumbing contractor has the opportunity to upgrade their home or business with the best water-efficient plumbing products on the market.
Types of products currently a part of WaterSenseⓇ include:
- Residential Toilets
- Bathroom Faucets
- Commercial Toilets
- Irrigation Controllers
- Spray Sprinkler Bodies
- Pre-Rinse Spray Valves
Become More Water Conscious with Indiana American Water
At Indiana American Water, we support the EPA’s vision of a water-efficient world and improved national water savings. Our parent company, American Water, was recognized by the EPA with the 2023 WaterSenseⓇ Excellence Award through our ongoing thought leadership and water conservation education efforts.
We actively promote WaterSenseⓇ products and programs and offer premium water conservation education opportunities to our customers across Indiana. We understand that learning and practicing efficient water conservation practices can be complex and expensive for busy homeowners. That’s why we strive to bring educational resources and affordable utilities right to your doorstep so we can protect the nation’s water supply for future generations.
Check out our website for more information on WaterSenseⓇ and other water-efficient programs.