Friday, July 16, 2010

WaterSense Certification for homes

WaterSense is a US EPA Partnership Program that promotes water efficiency through home certification and product labeling. 

New homes can now obtain a WaterSense label. According to their website, "WaterSense labeled new homes help families save an average of 10,000 gallons of water and at least $100 on utility costs each year by including WaterSense labeled plumbing fixtures, an efficient hot water delivery system, water-efficient landscape design, and other water- and energy-efficient features." These homes will include efficient hot water systems, WaterSense labeled features (which can save up to 5,000 gallons of water a year compared to a standard new bathroom), Energy Star appliances, and native landscaping. 

Bathroom in the first WaterSense certified home in Chapel Hill, NC, built by Vanguard Homes. 

Currently, builders can apply for a WaterSense certification, or homeowners can have their home inspected by a WaterSense Partner. Click here to find a WaterSense Partner in your area. A new home must be built by a WaterSense builder partner and meet all of the identified criteria to become a WaterSense labeled new home. Criteria include:

1. Indoor water use, including plumbing, plumbing fixtures and fittings, appliances, and other water-using equipment. This includes evaluating leaks, measuring static service pressure, maximums on the amount of hot water stored at a time, maximums on evaporative cooling systems, and guidelines for drinking water treatment systems.
2. Outdoor water use, including landscape design and guidelines for Irrigation systems, pools/spas, water features, slopes, and temporary landscapes.
3. Homeowner education. Homeowners must be provided with a comprehensive operating manual, including illustrative drawings and schedules of irrigation systems.

In order for a product to obtain a WaterSense label, they must use 20% less water and perform as well or better than standard models. Click here to find WaterSense labeled products.

Look for the WaterSense label when choosing products.

The variety of certification programs available can be dizzying. As always, feel free to contact us anytime if you have any questions about environmental certifications.

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