WaterSense Data Needs
In order to develop a new specification, EPA needs enough data to demonstrate the product category meets WaterSense evaluation factors. Of greatest importance is how to measure and verify water savings for that product, and what makes up "good" performance.
In some product categories, these data are readily available. For example, many plumbing products have defined test protocols and have been independently tested for efficiency and performance for a number of years, resulting in a large body of available data. On the contrary, other product categories have limited experience with independent testing and/or lack independent studies to demonstrate efficiency or performance.
The process of defining performance attributes and identifying protocols to test those attributes includes answering the following questions:
- What performance attributes are important?
- Are there defined testing methods?
- Based on actual performance test data, do the testing methods produce consistent and reproducible results within an independent laboratory?
Once performance attributes are defined and a protocol is identified, performance levels must be set. This process includes answering the following questions based on performance test data and/or independent studies:
- What is the existing range of product performance?
- Are there any unintended or negative impacts caused by anticipated specification requirements?
If any of these questions cannot be answered, the data is insufficient for specification development. EPA is committed to working to fill such data gaps through research sponsored by interested parties.