NORTHBROOK, ILL. — Underwriters Laboratories announced in mid- September that it will provide testing and certification services for high-efficiency lavatory faucets and faucet accessories for the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program. High-efficiency lavatory faucets are the most recent product category added to EPA’s WaterSense initiative, which was launched in February 2007 to safeguard the U.S. water supply by identifying and promoting water-efficient products and services.
As an approved certification organization, UL works with manufacturers to help them obtain the WaterSense label for plumbing products that demonstrate at least 20% greater efficiency in water utilization. The WaterSense highefficiency lavatory faucet specification is designed to ensure both sustainable, efficient water use and a high level of user satisfaction. The specification applies to lavatory faucets in private use, such as in residences, and private restrooms in hotels and hospitals.
“UL is continuing its dedication to public safety by helping manufacturers meet the demand for more environmentally responsible products,” said Ann Marie Gebhart, UL water program director.
According to EPA, faucets account for more than 15% of indoor household water use — more than a trillion gallons of water across the U.S. each year. Even though federal law requires that new faucets not exceed 2.2 GPM, older faucets can flow at rates as high as 3-7 GPM. High-efficiency bathroom sink faucets and accessories can reduce this standard flow by more than 30% without sacrificing performance. Households using WaterSense- labeled bathroom sink faucets or faucet accessories could save an average of more than 500 gallons each year.
Certified products will be included on an EPA product registry and will bear the WaterSense label. In addition, UL will list all products certified for WaterSense at www.ul.com/water.
The high-efficiency lavatory faucet specification is the latest product category to be added to the WaterSense program. The first product category for the WaterSense program was high-efficiency toilets, which UL was initially approved to certify in February 2007. EPA plans to extend the WaterSense program to other plumbing products, such as showerheads, irrigation control equipment and other commercial equipment.
UL’s certification process will consist of product testing and annual field inspections to monitor continued compliance. Additional testing requirements can be found at www.epa.gov/watersense/docs/faucet_suppstat508.pdf.
WaterSense is similar to Energy Star, a joint program between EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy that helps businesses save money and protect the environment by creating and using energy-efficient products and practices. In 2006, products bearing the Energy Star label saved enough energy to avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the output of 25 million cars. With WaterSense, manufacturers are required to work with an approved independent testing organization to use the program’s label.
Additional information is available at www.ul.com/water.