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Making sense of WaterSense-labeled low-flow faucets

When it comes to finding more efficient fixtures for your home, it can be difficult to know which options provide the best value for the environment and your utilities bills. Luckily, the U.S. government has programs to make the decision easier, and its WaterSense program is one of your best resources when seeking out new high quality faucets that use less water without seeming like it. This represents the very latest in faucet evolution.

This information is particularly useful in areas that have strict conservation demands. In these states, a low-flow faucet may be the only option. So whether you're contending with regulations or simply want to be more efficient in your water usage, check out this overview of WaterSense-labeled low-flow faucets:

What is the WaterSense program?

Companies that wish to label their products as WaterSense compliant must sign an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Then, these companies produce faucets, showerheads, toilets and other plumbing fixtures that have water efficiency exceeding the average flow rate by at least 20 percent; have a third-party certification and meet other criteria. This arrangement is similar to the Energy Star program for appliances and electronic devices.

"WaterSense products exceed average efficiency by at least 20%."

The level of required efficiency can change as the industry sees more overall innovation. As of 2016, the EPA listed faucets that put out no more than 1.5 gallons per minute as sufficient for a WaterSense label. The average flow rate for faucets at that time was 2.2 gallons per minute.

Another key criteria of the WaterSense labeling program is realizing savings shouldn't impact performance. This means you get the same quality of product along with more money in your pocket when it's time to pay the water bill.

What do you get with a WaterSense-labeled faucet?

Of course, the most important question for any homeowner would be in regard to hard figures about water conservation. What exactly does that 20 percent boost in efficiency translate to? Here's a look:

  • When converting that percentage to the amount of water saved, the average family can cut its annual water consumption by 700 gallons.

  • As for cost savings, this collective reduction across the U.S. could total $1.2 billion in savings each year.

  • For water utility bills in particular, the EPA estimated a possible national savings of $350 million.