Products bearing the WaterSense label are generally at least 20 percent more water-efficient than similar products in the marketplace. EPA develops specifications that outline the requirements that products must meet to earn the WaterSense label. In developing specifications, WaterSense works with standards organizations and other stakeholders. Actions are released for public comment and review before being released as final.
In response to requirements of the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, EPA reviewed existing WaterSense product specifications for tank-type toilets, flushing urinals, bathroom faucets, showerheads, and irrigation controllers and made the decision not to revise them at this time. Visit the WaterSense Product Specification Review page to learn more.
- Final Product Specifications
WaterSense has issued final specifications for the following products:
- Tank-Type Toilets
- Lavatory Faucets
- Flushing Urinals
- Flushometer-Valve Toilets
- Weather-Based Irrigation Controllers
- Spray Sprinkler Bodies
- Commercial Pre-Rinse Spray Valves (sunset on January 1, 2019)
Background information for each product specification (not including the current specification) can be found in Product Background Materials.
- Draft Specifications
WaterSense has released the following draft specifications:
- Notices of Intent
- Clarifications to Specifications and Certification System
WaterSense periodically issues technical clarifications to WaterSense product specifications in order to clarify vague or unclear requirements. This document serves as the compendium of technical clarifications regarding WaterSense product specifications and product certification and labeling.
- How Does WaterSense Develop Specifications for Products to Earn the Label?
EPA considers both technical and market factors when identifying product categories that are good candidates for the WaterSense product specification and labeling process. These evaluation factors include:
- Potential for significant water savings on a national level.
- Equal or superior product performance compared to conventional models.
- State of technology development—product categories that rely on a single, proprietary technology will not be eligible for the label.
- Assurance that the development of a specification will not lead to unintended or negative environmental or economic impacts.
- Ability to measure and verify water savings and performance.
In addition, EPA needs data to demonstrate that product categories meet the criteria above. If you are a manufacturer or stakeholder group who would like WaterSense to develop a specification for a particular product category, please review the data needs question below to see what data are needed for specification development.
In developing a specification, EPA undertakes the following steps:
- Conducts technical analysis and market research to evaluate water savings potential and environmental and economic impacts.
- Announces intention to develop specification for a product to stakeholders, providing for input at the outset of the process.
- Assesses existing test methods and determine the type of testing necessary for label consideration.
- Releases draft product specifications for review and solicit input and comments from stakeholders and the general public. Stakeholder meetings and outreach are an integral part of this process.
- Posts comments on the WaterSense Web site and revise the specification as necessary.
- Announces final product specification.
- Reviews existing specifications periodically to assess whether or not to update them.
- Monitors the market to determine whether or not to develop specifications in new product areas.
- Is My Product Eligible for the WaterSense label?
If your product isn't included on the products page, it isn't eligible for the WaterSense label. While EPA hopes to include more products in the future, each product category considered for the label undergoes certain procedures to identify, research, and finalize specifications.
WaterSense considers both technical and market factors when identifying product categories that are good candidates for the WaterSense product specification and labeling process.
If you think WaterSense should consider developing a specification for your product, you will need to send us data demonstrating water efficiency. Please review our draft specifications, notifications of intent, and specification development process to see if you help provide critical data that could help WaterSense develop final specifications.
The Alliance for Water Efficiency provides information on national efficiency standards for fixtures and appliances and green specifications for indoor fixtures and appliances. Visit the Resources section of their page on Standards and Codes for Water EfficiencyEXIT.
- What Data Does WaterSense Need to Consider My Product?
EPA needs data to demonstrate that product categories meet the evaluation factors described above. If you think WaterSense should consider developing a specification for your product, you will need to send us data demonstrating water efficiency. Of greatest importance is how to measure and verify water savings for that product, and what constitutes "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:
- Are there any unintended or negative impacts caused by anticipated specification requirements?
- What is the existing range of product performance?
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.