Federal agencies are required to purchase U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) WaterSense-labeled products where applicable. Faucets, showerheads, toilets, urinals, irrigation controllers, and spray sprinkler bodies are covered under the WaterSense program. The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) discontinued its product designations and purchasing specifications for these products to avoid duplicating efforts and to simplify the federal procurement process. However, FEMP continues to offer technical assistance on water efficiency. Learn more about water use reduction.
This acquisition guidance was updated in June 2020.
Plumbing codes and standards require a flow rate of 0.5 gallons per minute (gpm) for public lavatory faucets and 0.25 gallons per cycle (gpc) for metered faucets. There are currently few products on the market with flow rates lower than these requirements. In addition, there is no documentation that lavatory faucets with flow rates lower than 0.5 gpm and 0.25 gpc perform in a satisfactory manner.
FEMP continues to monitor market and research activity for commercial faucets and, if warranted, will reissue performance requirements and a purchasing specification for this product type. For more information, see Best Management Practice (BMP) #7: Faucets and Showerheads; the Energy Cost Calculator for Faucets and Showerheads; and EPA WaterSense.
Version 1.1 of the WaterSense Specification for Showerheads went into effect in July 2018. For best practices related to operations and maintenance of Showerheads, see BMP #7: Faucets and Showerheads. Also refer to the Energy Cost Calculator for Faucets and Showerheads, and the EPA WaterSense page for showerheads.
Version 1 of the WaterSense Specification for Toilets went into effect in January 2007. In May 2011, Version 1.2 of the WaterSense Specification for Tank-Type Toilets was released. Minor changes and clarifications to the existing requirements were also made in June 2014. The WaterSense Specification for Flushometer-Valve Water Closets went into effect in December 2015. For best practices related to operations and maintenance of toilets and urinals, see BMP #6: Toilets and Urinals and the EPA WaterSense pages for Residential Toilets and Commercial Toilets.
Version 1 of the WaterSense Specification for Flushing Urinals went into effect in October 2009. For more information, see BMP #6: Toilets and Urinals, the Energy Cost Calculator for Urinals, and EPA WaterSense.
Version 1 of the WaterSense Specification for Weather-Based Irrigation Controllers went into effect in November 2011. WaterSense-labeled irrigation controllers use local weather conditions and landscape characteristics to create a water sprinkling schedule that is aligned with the conditions on the site. For more information, see BMP #5: Water-Efficient Irrigation and the EPA WaterSense page on irrigation controls.
Spray Sprinkler Bodies
Version 1 of the WaterSense Specification for Spray Sprinkler Bodies went into effect in September 2017. WaterSense-labeled spray sprinkler bodies reduce overwatering by regulating the pressure and having a consistent flow rate for the water. For more information, see BMP #5: Water-Efficient Irrigation and the EPA WaterSense page on spray sprinkler bodies.
Pre-Rinse Spray Valves
As of January 2019, EPA has sunset the WaterSense specification for commercial pre-rinse spray valves. Manufacturers of these products can no longer earn the WaterSense label. For more information, refer to the “Specification” tab in the WaterSense page. For best practices related to operations and maintenance of pre-rinse spray valves, see BMP #11: Commercial Kitchen Equipment.