Low-Flow Legislation and the WaterSense® Program
Efficiency in water appliances allows for less consumption of water, thereby using less resources while performing the same function. The latest laws governing water flow requirements are listed below for easy reference, as well as background on the WaterSense program.
The following map shows states with water-efficient plumbing standards as compared to federal standards.
Enacted State Standards
The following table provides summaries of state statutes and legislation for maximum allowed flow rates for plumbing fixtures. A slash is used to indicate the phasing in of different requirements.
|State||Citation||Summary||Effective Date||Toilet (gpf)||Urinal (gpf)||Lavatory faucet (gpm)||Kitchen Faucet (gpm)||Shower (gpm)|
|California||Cal. Health & Safety Code § 17921.3; Cal. Civ. Code § 1101.3||Sets maximum flow rates for fixtures installed or sold. Also mandates replacing fixtures in single family homes by Jan. 1, 2017 and in multifamily and commercial buildings by Jan. 1, 2019.||Jan. 1, 2014||1.28||0.5||2.2||2.2||2.5|
|Colorado||Colo. Rev. Stat. § 6-7.5-102||Bans the selling of new plumbing fixtures that have not been certified by the EPA's WaterSense Program or successor program.||Sept. 1, 2016||1.28||0.5||1.5||NA||2|
|Connecticut||Conn. Gen. Stat. § 21a-86a||Sets maximum flow rates for fixtures manufactured or sold on or after the effective date.||Oct. 1, 1990/Jan. 1, 1992||NA /1.6||1||0.5||2.5||2.5|
|Iowa||Iowa Code Ann. § 104B.1 (West)||Applies to all newly constructed places of assembly for public use such as theatres and restaurants.||Jan. 1, 1991||3||NA||NA||NA||NA|
|Georgia||Ga. Code § 8-2-3||Changes the building code to require the installation of high-efficiency plumbing fixtures in all new construction or renovation.||July 1, 2012||1.28||0.5||1.5||2||2.5|
|Nevada||Nev. Rev. Stat. § 278.582||Sets maximum flow rates for fixtures in newly constructed or renovated residential, commercial, or industrial structures after the effective date.||Mar. 1, 1993||1.6||1||2.5||2.5||2.5|
|New York||N.Y. Envtl. Conserv. Law § 15-0314||Sets maximum flow rates of fixtures for distribution sale, import, and installation by any private or public individual or entity.||July 23, 2002||1.6||1||2.5||2.5||2.5|
|Texas||Tex. Health & Safety Code § 372.002||Sets maximum flow rates for fixtures sold, offered for sale, distributed, or imported into Texas.||Jan. 1, 2014||1.28||0.5||2.2||2.2||2.5|
|Washington||Wash. Rev. Code § 19.27.170||Sets maximum flow rates for fixtures distributed sold, or installed after the effective date.||July 1, 1993||1.6||1||2.5||2.5||2.5|
Low-Flow Legislation in California
As part of the state's response to the prolonged drought, the California Energy Commission has set new water-efficiency standards for plumbing fixtures.
The helpful chart below illustrates these new standards, and how they will affect your business:
|Appliance||Mfg prior to Sep 1, 2015||Mfg on or after Sep 1, 2015, and prior to Jul 1, 2016||Sold or offered for sale prior to Jan 1, 2016||Sold or offered for sale after to Jan 1, 2016||Mfg on or after Jul 1, 2016||Mfg on or after Jul 1, 2016 and prior to Jul 1, 2018||Mfg on or after Jul 1, 2018|
|Residential Lavatory Faucets and Aerators||2.2 GPM @ 60 PSI||1.5 GPM @ 60 PSI||→||→||1.2 GPM @ 60 PSI||→||→|
|Commercial Lavatory Faucets & Aerators||2.2 GPM @ 60 PSI||→||→||0.5 GPM @ 60 PSI||→||→||→|
|Kitchen Faucets & Aerators||2.2 GPM @ 60 PSI||→||→||1.8 GPM @ 60 PSI||→||→||→|
|Showerheads & Horizontal Body Sprayers||2.5 GPM @ 80 PSI||→||→||→||→||2.0 GPM 80 PSI||1.8 GPM @ 80 PSI|
Low-Flow Legislation in Texas
The Texas Health & Safety Code Section 372 requires that after January 1, 2014, faucets should use no more than 2.2 gallons per minute, shower fixtures should use no more than 2.5 gallons per minute, and urinals should use 0.5 gallons per flush. Toilets under this legislation should also not exceed 1.28 gallons per flush. Toilets that are dual flush in nature must have an average flush volume of two reduced flushes with one full flush not exceeding 1.28 gallons. Toilets that are a single flush in nature may not exceed 1.28 gallons in average flush volume.
What are the benefits of Using Low-Flow or WaterSense Products?
- If one in every 10 homes in the United States were to install WaterSense labeled faucets or faucet accessories in their bathrooms, it could save 6 billion gallons of water, and more than $50 million in the energy costs to supply, heat, and treat that water.*
- If all inefficient toilets in U.S. homes were converted to WaterSense labeled models, we could save more than 640 billion gallons of water per year—the equivalent to 15 days of flow over Niagara Falls.*
- The EPA estimates that the average US home will save $90 per year, and $2,000 over the lifetime of the toilet by using a low-flow model in place of a traditional one.
- If homeowners with irrigation systems use WaterSense irrigation partners to perform regular maintenance, they could reduce irrigation water by 15 percent or about 9,000 gallons annually—or the amount of water that would flow from a garden hose nonstop for nearly a whole day.*
*data and statistics provided by the United States Environmental Protection Agency