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To reduce the amount of water wasted when removing contaminants from water at home, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has drafted a specification for point-of-use reverse osmosis (RO) water treatment systems to earn the WaterSense label. These water treatment systems are connected to a single fixture (e.g., at the kitchen sink), and they can use a significant amount of water in the contaminant removal process. In fact, a typical RO system sends five gallons of water down the drain for every gallon of treated water produced.
WaterSense labeled plumbing and irrigation product models are independently certified to use at least 20 percent less water and perform as well or better than their standard counterparts. Once this specification is final, WaterSense labeled RO systems will use significantly less water than typical RO systems, sending 2.3 gallons of water or less down the drain for every gallon of treated water produced. The WaterSense specification will also ensure that labeled RO systems are effective at providing the high-quality drinking water consumers expect from these products.
In the future, consumers that install a WaterSense labeled system instead of a typical RO system will save an estimated 3,200 gallons of water and $40 in water and wastewater costs every year. To ensure that RO filters and membranes are changed at the appropriate frequency, and that the system continues to effectively treat water, all WaterSense labeled RO systems will also be required to include maintenance instructions that list replacement parts and state how often they should be changed.
WaterSense is seeking input on this draft specification from RO system manufacturers, utilities, and other interested stakeholders by Feb. 3, 2023. Learn more about point-of-use RO systems and review the draft specification at www.epa.gov/watersense/point-use-reverse-osmosis-systems.
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