EPA's WaterSense Releases First Commercial Building Product Spec

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its first WaterSense specification for a commercial building product—flushing urinals—on October 9, 2009. WaterSense-labeled flushing urinals will use 50% less water than standard urinals, which is expected to save 4,000 gallons of water per year for every model installed.

The intent of this specification is to assist facility professionals in identifying and differentiating those products that have met EPA’s criteria for water efficiency and performance. This final specification addresses flushing urinals—urinals that use water to convey waste through a trap seal into a gravity drainage system—and their flushing devices. Devices using other techniques such as non-water urinals, composting urinals, and retrofit devices or other aftermarket retrofit systems are not covered by this specification.

While current federal standards set the maximum allowable flush volume at one gallon per flush (gpf), an estimated 7.8 million urinals currently in use are older inefficient models. In addition to using no more than a half gallon per flush, urinals bearing the WaterSense label must meet EPA’s performance requirements, ensuring they work as well or better than standard models. All WaterSense labeled products are independently tested and certified to meet criteria for both efficiency and performance. To ensure satisfactory performance, urinals will be tested for flush effectiveness and other measures before they can earn the WaterSense label.

WaterSense product research has shown that there are at least eight manufacturers offering nearly 40 models of high efficiency flushing urinals that are expected to meet the requirements of this specification and would be qualified to apply for and use the WaterSense label.

More information from the EPA can be found here…