Water-Efficient Shower Heads
Installing a water-efficient shower head is an excellent way to conserve water at home. To see if it makes sense to replace your existing shower head, perform this simple test:
- Turn on your shower at the usual pressure and hold an empty 1-gallon container, such as a plastic milk carton, under your shower head.
- Note how long it takes to fill with water.
- If it takes 20 seconds or less to fill, then you have a shower head that uses at least 3 gallons per minute, a prime candidate for replacement.
A shower head designed with conservation in mind will take at least 24 seconds to fill a gallon bucket. That means the flow is at a rate of less than 2.5 gallons per minute.
WaterSense labeled bathroom sink faucets and accessories that use a maximum of 1.5 gallons per minute can reduce a sink's water flow by 30 percent or more from the standard flow of 2.2 gallons per minute without sacrificing performance. We could save billions of gallons nationwide each year by retrofitting bathroom sink faucets with models that have earned the WaterSense label.
All products bearing the WaterSense label complete an independent certification process to ensure they meet EPA criteria. Faucets and faucet accessories—products that can be attached easily to existing faucets to save water—that obtain the WaterSense label have demonstrated both water efficiency and the ability to provide ample flow.
Repairing Leaking Faucets
Don’t ignore a leaking faucet, they are usually easy and inexpensive to repair. Turn off the valve under the sink until you get around to repairing the leak. A slow drip can waste as much as 170 gallons of water each day.
Toilets are by far the main source of water use in the home, accounting for nearly 30 percent of an average home's indoor water consumption. Older, inefficient toilets that use as much as 6 gallons per flush also happen to be a major source of wasted water in many homes.
- Recent advancements have allowed toilets to use 1.28 gallons per flush or less while still providing equal or superior performance. This is 20 percent less water than the current federal standard of 1.6 gallons per flush.
- The WaterSense label is used on toilets that are independently certified to meet rigorous criteria for both performance and efficiency. Only water–saving toilets that complete the certification process can earn the WaterSense label.
- Look for the WaterSense label when purchasing new fixtures.
- Whether replacing an older, inefficient faucet that's wasting water and money or simply looking for options to reduce water use in your home, choose a WaterSense-labeled bathroom sink faucet or aerator.
WaterSense-labeled models are available at a wide variety of price points and a broad range of styles and, in many areas, utilities offer rebates and vouchers that can lower the price even further. The next time you wash your hands or brush your teeth, you'll know that you're doing your part to help protect our precious water resources.