Water is used in homes, businesses, and offices for many tasks including drinking, cooking, cleaning, and showering. Typical water fixtures and appliances are faucets, toilets, showerheads, garden hoses, dishwashers, and clothes washers. All of these fixtures and appliances are available for installation or retrofit with high efficiency features which limit the water used but don’t require any change in lifestyle. As established in the best practices manual produced by the State of California, a few examples are:
High Efficiency Toilets
The current federal mandate for toilets is 1.6 gallons per flush; however, the industry has introduced even more efficient toilets to the market. High efficiency toilets (HET) are fixtures that flushe a maximum volume of 1.3 gallons per flush or less. There are three types of HETs: dual-flush, pressure-assist, and gravity-fed. Currently, there are no flushometer valves and bowls that meet the HET definition.
High Efficiency Urinals
High efficiency urinals are fixtures that have an average flush volume lower than the mandated 1.0 gallon per flush, or are zero water consumption urinals.
High-Efficiency Clothes Washers
High efficiency clothes washers (HEWs) utilize technological advances to deliver excellent performance while saving both water and energy. The most efficient models use 35-50 percent less water than an average washer. This reduction in water use also means less energy is needed to heat the water (approximately 50 percent less energy).
Pre-rinse Spray Valves
Dishwashing operation in a typical restaurant consumes over two-thirds of all water used by the establishment. In some cases, nearly half of the water used in dishwashing is consumed by the pre-rinse spray valve, which is used to remove food from dishware, utensils, and pans before placing them in the dishwasher. These valves currently can be purchased with a variety of flow rates. Most that are currently purchased and installed are over 3.0 gallons per minute(gpm). The high efficiency replacement valves endorsed by various Rinse and Save programs have a rating of 1.6 gpm or less.
Water is not an endless resource. In reality, only one percent of water on our planet is available for human consumption. As world population increases, battles over water rights will continue. There is a finite amount of water on our planet. Understanding and delivering the most efficient use of our water is critical for a sustainable future.
Water efficiency is an important mechanism for managing our current supply of freshwater. Selecting water efficient fixtures are good for the environment and good for the economy. Efficient water use reduces the need for expensive water supply and wastewater treatment facilities, helps maintain healthy aquatic and riparian environments, and reduces the energy needed to pump, treat, and heat water.
Little effort is required. The majority of high efficiency fixtures and appliances are installed using the same techniques as older models. Licensed plumbers are capable and familiar with installing newer, high efficiency fixtures and appliances.
Decreased water consumption reduces your water bill and may reduce your energy bill if hot water is used in the building.
Any time a water distribution system is disrupted, there is a potential for a leak. As such, whenever retrofitting any existing fixture or appliance, it is important to thoroughly inspect for water leaks, especially at joints and couplings.
Decreased water flow may affect the performance of the high efficiency fixture or appliance. In critical areas, it is important test the functionality of the selected fixture or appliance before mass implementation.
For water fixtures, a plumber will facilitate the upgrade to high efficiency water fixtures. For appliances, the builder or developer will purchase and install the high efficiency appliances.
Typically there is a negligible cost difference between a high efficiency water fixture and its standard counterpart. For appliances, the cost is up to 30% more depending upon the type of appliance.
Gallons per Minute is the amount of hot water in gallons a tankless water heater can supply per minute over a 77°F temperature rise.Any change to an existing facility, such as the adjustment, connection, or disconnection of equipment.The used water from a home, community, farm, or industry that contains dissolved or suspended matter. Not fit for human consumption.The ability or potential of a physical body to do work. The most common forms of energy are heat, light, mechanical (moving parts), and electrical.