by Keith Bancroft
Showerheads have recently joined the family of products covered by the WaterSense program. Sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), WaterSense promotes water efficiency by helping consumers identify products and programs that meet strict water efficiency and performance criteria. According to the EPA, in 2009 WaterSense helped consumers save more than 36 billion gallons of water and $267 million on their water and sewer bills.
Showers account for a significant portion of indoor water use—almost 17 percent for the average home—so replacing a showerhead is a quick and easy way to lower your water use. In addition, using less hot water means less energy is needed to heat the water, thereby increasing your overall savings.
A WaterSense-labeled showerhead uses no more than 2.0 gallons per minute (gpm) —20 percent less than a 2.5 gpm “standard” showerhead. WaterSense showerheads must also meet performance standards to ensure that the showerhead not only saves water, but also provides a quality shower experience equal to or better than that of your old showerhead.
Currently, seven plumbing manufacturers offer a variety of WaterSense-labeled showerhead models. For more information, visit the WaterSense website or download the most recent list of WaterSense-labeled showerheads.