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WaterSense: Meets EPA Critera WaterSense Seal An EPA Partnership Program

The WaterSense Current Fall 2011

Issue XX, Fall 2011

WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by EPA, seeks to protect the future of our nation's water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water.The WaterSense Current is a quarterly update dedicated to news and events relatedto WaterSense.  

In This Issue:

Celebrating Our 2011 WaterSense Partners of the Year

As WaterSense celebrates its fifth anniversary this year, we're very grateful for all of the partners who have helped us reach this milestone. Since the program's inception, our partners have brought more than 4,000 WaterSense labeled plumbing products and homes to the market. That's a real reason to celebrate!

Of the thousands of partners who have supported WaterSense over the past five years, EPA is recognizing the following six for their exceptional efforts to help Americans save water in 2010:

Manufacturer Partner of the Year: Delta Faucet Company

In 2010, Delta Faucet Company continued its commitment to increasing WaterSense labeled products in the marketplace, including the first WaterSense labeled showerheads. The company also helped lead the development of a test that ensures WaterSense labeled showerheads meet performance expectations.

Retailer Partner of the Year: The Home Depot

The Home Depot sells a variety of WaterSense labeled products in each of its 2,000 retail locations across the United States, including a selection of both WaterSense labeled toilets and faucets at a variety of price points. On Earth Day 2010, the company gave away nearly half a million WaterSense labeled faucet aerators as part of an attention-grabbing display in New York City's Times Square.

Promotional Partner of the Year: Cobb County, Georgia, Water System

Cobb County educated the greater Atlanta community about water efficiency by giving 75 WaterSense presentations to 10,000 citizens last year. A 2010 online survey confirmed the success of Cobb County's outreach efforts, finding that more than 80 percent of respondents were familiar with WaterSense, compared to only 10 percent a few years ago.

Irrigation Partner of the Year: Christopher Curry

Christopher Curry, a Principal at Sweeney + Associates Irrigation Design and Consulting in Orange, California, specializes in irrigation design, water budgeting, and auditing. Over his 10-year career, he has helped clients from homeowners to regional parks utilize smart irrigation technology, watering schedules, and annual water budgets to help them save water and reduce utility costs.

Builder Partner of the Year: KB Home

In November 2010, KB Home made history by completing construction of the first WaterSense labeled new homes at its Springwood community in Roseville, California. KB Home quickly expanded its offerings of WaterSense labeled new homes—each designed to save a family of four about 50,000 gallons of water per year compared to a typical home—to other communities in Florida and Texas.

Licensed Certification Provider of the Year: Energy Inspectors Corporation

Energy Inspectors Corporation joined forces with WaterSense in 2010 as one of the first licensed certification provider to recruit WaterSense builder partners and inspect and certify new homes. Energy Inspectors Corporation introduced numerous builders to the opportunities of building homes to earn the WaterSense label.

Learn more about this year's six WaterSense Partners of the Year, as well as several other outstanding WaterSense partners who received Excellence Awards.

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bathroom makeover

Give your Bathroom a Mini-Makeover and Save

Did you know that bathrooms are the biggest water users in your home, accounting for more than half of all indoor water use? Water utility bills average more than $700 per year across the United States. October is National Kitchen and Bath Month. What better time to consider giving your bathroom a "mini-makeover?"

Not only can a mini-makeover help you make small improvements to your home without breaking the bank, it will pay off in more ways than one, saving you water and money on utility bills, and give new life to an old bathroom.

If your bathroom fixtures come in retro colors like "Pepto® pink and avocado green—or were installed before 1994, after plumbing standards became more efficient—they could be sending money and water down the drain. Advances in plumbing technology and design have led to faucets, showers, and toilets that use significantly less water than standard models while still delivering the rinse, spray, and flushing power you need.

kids brushing teeth

Upgrading your main bathroom with WaterSense labeled fixtures can save enough water annually to wash six months' worth of laundry, reduce your energy use enough to run your refrigerator for two months, and decrease a household's utility bills by $80 per year, allowing the fixtures to pay for themselves in as little as two years.

Even a micro-makeover—just replacing one standard bathroom sink faucet with a WaterSense labeled aerator—can reduce your sink's water flow by 30 percent or more without sacrificing any performance, helping you feel good each time you brush your teeth or wash your hands.

To learn more about a bathroom mini-makeover, visit the WaterSense website. Don't forget to follow us on FacebookExit EPA Disclaimerand TwitterExit EPA Disclaimerfor great water-saving tips this October and throughout the year!

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ENERGY STAR© Cleans Up With New Dishwasher Specification

For years, ENERGY STAR has been synonymous with increased energy performance in the home appliances and devices. But did you know ENERGY STAR also plays a key role in reducing water used by some appliances? New dishwashers across the country are about to get more water-efficient than ever, thanks to an update of ENERGY STAR's qualifications.

Starting January 20, 2012, to qualify for the label, both standard-sized and compact residential dishwashers will need to use significantly less water than the previous ENERGY STAR qualifications -- nearly 27 percent less for standard size and 12.5 percent less for compacts.

Dishwasher sizes (or capacities) are measured by the number of place settings and serving pieces they can hold at a time. A standard size dishwasher has a capacity greater than or equal to eight place settings and six serving pieces. A compact dishwasher can fit less than eight place settings and six serving pieces.

Dishwasher technology has improved dramatically over the last decade. New ENERGY STAR qualified models include several innovations that reduce energy and water consumption and improve performance. Soil sensors test how dirty dishes are throughout the wash and adjust the cycle to achieve optimum cleaning with minimum water and energy use. Improved water filtration removes food soils from the wash water, which allows efficient use of detergent and water throughout the cycle. A final clean-water rinse ensures dishes come out sparkling. More efficient jets use less energy to spray detergent and water over the dishes when cleaning, and innovative dish rack designs strategically situate the dishes.

Always keep in mind that washing dishes by hand uses much more water than using a dishwasher. Using an ENERGY STAR qualified dishwashers instead of hand washing will save you annually 5,000 gallons of water, $40 in utility costs, and 230 hours of your time. And since October is National Kitchen and Bath Month, there's even more reason to consider a dishwasher upgrade!

To learn more about ENERGY STAR qualified dishwashers, use the product searchExit EPA Disclaimer.

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This Holiday Season, Celebrate and Save Water at the Same Time

It's never too early to start looking ahead to the holiday season. Parties, meals, and gatherings are time-honored ways to celebrate and share warmth with family and friends. Make a seasonal splash without wasting water by following these simple tips this holiday, or during any season!

1. When it comes to hosting guests, fix any leaks in your home before they arrive. You'll not only save face, you'll save water.

2. Pile on the sides! Corn, apples, and potatoes require only 84, 108, and 132 gallons of water per pound to grow, respectively. Meats such as beef and lamb can require many more times the amount of water per pound to produce.

3. How you prepare foods can be as important as which foods you buy. For example, if you buy a frozen turkey, be sure to thaw it in the fridge rather than under running warm tap water. And fill a sink or bowl with water to rinse your vegetables, rather than leaving the water running.

4. Scrape dishes before putting them in the dishwasher rather than pre-rinsing them. Pre-rinsing dishes can use up to 20 gallons of water, while ENERGY STAR qualified dishwashers and today's detergents are designed to do the cleaning so you don't have to pre-rinse. If dirty dishes are going to sit overnight, use your dishwasher's rinse feature, which needs only a fraction of the water it takes to hand rinse.

shopping for faucet aerators

WaterSense labeled faucet aerators make the perfect stocking stuffers

5. If you don't have a dishwasher, be sure to fill the sink with soapy water, rather than running the tap as you wash the dishes—and save about 10 gallons of water!

6. Ensure the dishwasher is full before running it. As an energy-saving bonus, avoid cycles like pre-rinse and rinse-hold that use heated water, but may not be necessary to clean your dishes. And when it comes to time to give gifts, keep WaterSense in mind. Know a home improvement expert? Give them the gift of water and utility bill savings with a WaterSense labeled showerhead, toilet, or faucet—or all three!

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Partner Profiles: 2010 Excellence Awards Winners

Award winners

It's never too late to recognize a job well done. In 2010, WaterSense expanded its Partner of the Year awards program to acknowledge the outstanding accomplishments of our growing list of partners by adding a category known as the Excellence Awards. These awards recognized organizations and individuals who made significant contributions in one or more of the Partner of the Year evaluation categories. Stay tuned for profiles of our newest Excellence Award winners in upcoming issues of The WaterSense Current!

Strategic Collaboration

Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority: By going door-to-door to educate every toilet retailer in the area on its toilet rebate program, the authority expanded the number of stores carrying WaterSense labeled toilets from two in 2007 to 245 in 2009.

Drains Plus, Inc.: This North Carolina-based plumbing and drain-cleaning company encourages its clients to retrofit with WaterSense labeled plumbing fixtures. The company also coordinated with the Raleigh, North Carolina, to expedite its water-efficient product rebates for water customers.

Kohler Co.: A two-time WaterSense Partner of the Year and Excellence Award winner, Kohler hosted 49 water-efficiency education and promotional events across the country. Collaborating with national retailers and its robust distribution network, Kohler has reached out to consumers and trained more than 8,000 professionals on water efficiency.

Robert Dobson: Mr. Dobson is president of Middletown Sprinkler Company, an irrigation contracting firm in Port Monmouth, New Jersey. In 2009, he helped lead the New Jersey irrigation contractor licensure program to earn the WaterSense label for its professional certification program—the first state licensure program to achieve this recognition.

Labeled Products in the Marketplace:

Caroma: As of 2009, every single one of plumbing manufacturer Caroma's 47 floor-mount, dual-flush toilet models had earned the WaterSense label. Caroma estimated that 99 percent of its toilet sales in the United States that year were WaterSense labeled models.

Demonstrated Results:

Bryan Condray: Mr. Condray, irrigation operations manager for the Arizona- and Nevada-based landscape management company DLC Resources, Inc., helped 17 of the communities served by his company reduce outdoor water use by a combined 529 million gallons in 2009. Condray played a key role in leading DLC Resources to develop water programming logs to track systems' run times and irrigation water use.

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Share Your Tips

WaterSense's "Heard Around the Water Cooler" is looking for a few good tips! You have water-saving ideas, tips, and techniques of your own, and here's your chance to share them with other Current readers. Email them to the WaterSense Helpline with "WaterSense Interactive" in the subject line. We look forward to including your contributions in the coming issues of the Current.

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