Showering is one of the leading ways we use water in the home, accounting for nearly 17 percent of residential indoor water use—for the average family, that adds up to nearly 40 gallons per day. That's nearly 1.2 trillion gallons of water used in the United States annually just for showering, or enough to supply the water needs of New York and New Jersey for a year! By retrofitting your shower with a WaterSense labeled showerhead, you can save a considerable amount of this water.
Shower with Power
Did you know that standard showerheads use 2.5 gallons of water per minute (gpm)? Water–saving showerheads that earn the WaterSense label must demonstrate that they use no more than 2.0 gpm. The WaterSense label also ensures that these products provide a satisfactory shower that is equal to or better than conventional showerheads on the market. EPA worked with a variety of stakeholders—including consumers who tested various showerheads—to develop criteria for water coverage and spray intensity. All products bearing the WaterSense label—including water–efficient showerheads—must be independently certified to ensure they meet EPA water efficiency and performance criteria.
EPA worked with a variety of stakeholders—including consumers who tested various showerheads—to develop criteria for water coverage and spray intensity. For more information please read A New Reason to Sing in the Shower (PDF)(3 pp, 280 K, About PDF) in the February 2010 issue of the AWWA Journal. (Reprinted from Journal AWWA, Vol. 101, No. 2 February 2010, by permission). Copyright 2010, American Water Works Association. Permission to reproduce this document is granted for informational purposes only and does not represent or imply approval or endorsement by AWWA of any particular product or service.
Look For The WaterSense Label
Whether you are replacing an older, inefficient showerhead or simply looking for ways to reduce water use and utility bills in your home, look for the WaterSense label on showerheads along with faucets, faucet accessories, and toilets to help you identify models that save water and perform well. In many areas, utilities offer rebates and vouchers that can lower the price.
The average family could save 2,900 gallons per year by installing WaterSense labeled showerheads. Since these water savings will reduce demands on water heaters, they will also save energy. In fact, the average family could save more than 370 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, enough to power a house for 13 days.
On a national scale, if every home in the United States installed WaterSense labeled showerheads, we could save more than $2.2 billion in water utility bills and more than 260 billion gallons of water annually. In addition, we could avoid about $2.6 billion in energy costs for heating water.
EPA released a final specification for showerheads on March 4, 2010.
- WaterSense Specification for Showerheads (PDF) (11 pp, 265K, About PDF)
- WaterSense Specification for Showerheads Supporting Statement (PDF) (12 pp, 132K, About PDF)
- Detailed Drawings for the Force Balance Test Apparatus (PDF) (18 pp, 400K, About PDF)
For more information about the showerhead specification development process, including the draft specification, public response to the draft specification, EPA's response to the public comments, and questions and answers, please see the Specification for Showerheads Background Materials page.
Manufacturers that produce showerheads meeting EPA's efficiency and performance criteria can apply to have their products certified to earn the WaterSense label. Before submitting products for testing, manufacturers must have a partnership agreement with EPA in place. Visit the manufacturer section on the partner page to learn more.