WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced its Notice of Intent to develop a draft performance standards for high-efficiency urinals.
EPA noted that there are currently an estimated 12 million urinals in the U.S. Up to 80% or 9.6 million of these urinals are inefficient units with flush volumes exceeding the current 1.0 gallon per flush maximum flush volume allowed by federal standards by a half gallon to as much as
4.5-GPF. Since the federal standards were enacted, manufacturers have developed even more efficient urinals that use significantly less water than the standard 1.0 gpf fixtures or no water at all. These new fixtures can save an additional 0.5 gallon to 1-GPF compared to standard fixtures, resulting in a savings of between 2,300 and 4,600 gallons per urinal per year. Replacing older, inefficient urinals with these new fixtures can save even more water.
In 2004, the California Urban Water Conservation Council, in conjunction with a select group of its water provider members, developed a definition for HEUs that has become widely recognized and accepted as the plumbing industry standard. An HEU is now defined as a urinal fixture with a flush volume of 0.5-GPF or less, including non-water urinals.
The agency said that some technical points require further consideration and assessment before draft specifications can be published. To better define the major criteria and establish appropriate levels that ensure increased water efficiency and a high level of performance, WaterSense is requesting supporting information and data from all interested parties, including manufacturers, researchers, water utilities and water-efficiency organizations.
A complete story on the Notice of Intent will be in the July issue of CONTRACTOR.