Federal agencies are required to purchase products labeled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) WaterSense program where applicable. Faucets, showerheads, toilets, urinals, irrigation controllers, and spray sprinkler bodies are covered under the WaterSense program. The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) offers technical assistance on water efficiency. Learn more about water use reduction.
This acquisition guidance was updated in September 2022.
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. Most federal facilities fall under these requirements.
Some federal facilities may have a need to purchase bathroom faucets that are not covered by the requirements above. Version 1.0 of the WaterSense Specification for High-Efficiency Lavatory Faucets went into effect in October 2007. That specification covers lavatory faucets in private use, such as in residences and private restrooms in hotels and hospitals. The WaterSense Product Search tool can help buyers identify WaterSense-labeled products.
For more information, see FEMP Best Management Practice (BMP) #7: Faucets and Showerheads and EPA WaterSense bathroom faucets.
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 FEMP BMP #7: Faucets and Showerheads. Also refer to EPA WaterSense showerheads.
Version 1.2 of the WaterSense Specification for Tank-Type Toilets went into effect 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 FEMP BMP #6: Toilets and Urinals and the EPA WaterSense pages for Residential Toilets and Commercial Toilets.
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 FEMP BMP #5: Water-Efficient Irrigation and EPA WaterSense irrigation controllers.
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 FEMP BMP #5: Water-Efficient Irrigation and EPA WaterSense 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 section on the WaterSense pre-rinse spray valves page. For best practices related to operations and maintenance of pre-rinse spray valves, see FEMP BMP #11: Commercial Kitchen Equipment.