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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it will not make updates or changes to the WaterSense program specifications, another successful step in the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) and its partners’ mission to ensure the program’s long-term viability.
The announcement followed a review as directed by “America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018,” which includes strong language officially authorizing the program in perpetuity. The law required the EPA to “consider for review and revise, if necessary, any WaterSense performance criteria adopted before Jan. 1, 2012.”
“By maintaining the existing WaterSense specifications, EPA is ensuring responsible conservation of our nation’s water supply without adding unnecessary specifications or creating undue burdens on the economy,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.
The EPA also announced it will engage with WaterSense stakeholders and the public to ensure that WaterSense products continue to help protect the nation’s water supplies while saving consumers money and performing as well as or better than regular models.
“The industry realizes the importance of the WaterSense program,” said Dain Hansen, IAPMO’s executive vice president of government relations. “The program has garnered support from manufacturers, environmental advocates, SDOs, associations and professional societies across the country. To know that the program will continue is welcome news and we, along with the industry, will continue to be strong supporting partners of the WaterSense program and the entire EPA.”
A true public-private partnership, WaterSense is a voluntary product efficiency labeling program that identifies efficient and high-performing water-consuming products. While the EPA spends approximately $3 million a year to administer the program, it has saved consumers more than $33 billion in water and energy bills since the program’s inception in 2006. The program is widely supported across the building industry and has enjoyed bipartisan support on Capitol Hill throughout its existence. This support is not only due to the program’s successful outcomes, but also because of the quality and integrity of the products bearing the WaterSense label, which are the result of federal government oversight and third-party certification.
Modeled after the ENERGY STAR program, WaterSense seeks to protect the future of the U.S. water supply by offering consumers a simple way to make product-purchasing choices that conserve water with no sacrifice to quality or performance. Services and products earning the WaterSense label have been certified as more efficient while performing just as well as average products in the same category. Such products include toilets, urinals, showerheads, bathroom faucets, landscape irrigation controllers and pre-rinse spray valves.
IAPMO R&T is a leading provider of WaterSense product certification in the nation and has been a U.S. EPA licensed provider, accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), since 2007, certifying the first high-efficiency toilet (HET) to the standard in April of that year. To date, IAPMO R&T, part of The IAPMO Group, has certified thousands of such water-efficient products to the WaterSense specifications.
For more information about the WaterSense program, visit www.epa.gov/watersense.
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