EPA Sets WaterSense Standard for First Commercial Building Product

EPA Sets WaterSense Standard for First Commercial Building Product

The Environmental Protection Agency has set its first WaterSense specification for a commercial building product -- a water-efficient urinal that's to use only half as much H2O as a standard fixture.

The current federal standard for the maximum allowable flush volume for a urinal is a gallon per flush, so fixtures eligible for a WaterSense label (shown below) must flush using a half gallon of water or less.   

The EPA estimates that any urinal qualifying for a WaterSense label will save about 4,000 gallons of water a year.

The agency also estimates that a college of 10,000 students would save enough water to fill an Olympic-sized pool, if the campus installed WaterSense urinals in its men's rooms.

Despite the federal standard that caps flush volume at a gallon per flush, as many as 7.8 million urinals in the U.S. are older, water-guzzling models, according to the EPA.

High-efficiency urinals that use half gallon of water or less to flush are already on the market -- they include models by American Standard, which has a half-gallon flusher as well as a urinal that flushes with just a pint of water; Sloan, which also makes high-performance urinals using a pint of water per flush; Zurn, whose EcoVantage line ranges from the "Full Stall Pint" and the "Retrofit Pint" and to the "Nano Pint;" and Kohler and Toto, which have models that flush using no more than a half-gallon of water.

None, however, bears the WaterSense label as yet, according to the EPA. An agency spokeswoman said she expects the label will make its appearance on the market on urinals that qualify for the mark in a few months.

Top image courtesy of American Standard.
Inset images courtesy of EPA.