Water Conservation Matters: Laws and Ordinances

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Water Conservation Matters: Laws and Ordinances
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Recently several states and municipalities have enacted laws that govern the water consumption of plumbing fixtures.  These laws address not only the plumbing codes but also the sale, distribution and importing of product. This means the savvy seller will sometimes be unable to complete a transaction because sale of such an item is restricted in your state or municipality.

Before we get too far talking about laws and ordinances, there's a bit of business we need to get out of the way.  Legal disclaimer:  We are not a law firm.  Information contained in this article should be considered a guide only.  While we will try to keep it up to date we cannot always know the plumbing codes in each municipality.  Please make sure you look up your local plumbing codes to make sure your project is in compliance.

What products are involved?

Bathroom Faucets
Kitchen Faucets
Showerheads (and anything that contains a showerhead such as a Tub & Shower Faucet)
Toilets
Urinals

What states currently have laws regarding water conservation?

New York (some cities)
Georgia
Texas
California
Other states may have laws and as we come across them we will be sure to add more information.

What is WaterSense?

WaterSense is a program by the EPA that governs water usage by plumbing products.  To be WaterSense certified products must meet various criteria and be tested.  For example bathroom faucets must be tested and have a flow rate of 1.5 GPM (gallons per minute) or less.  Some faucets can have this flow rate, but unless they are certified they cannot bear the WaterSense logo.

What's going on in New York?

New York City Green code (No. 57) restricts the sale of plumbing products based on the following criteria:

Bathroom Faucets = Maximum Flow 1.5 GPM @ 60 PSI, Must be WaterSense Certified
Kitchen Faucets = Maximum Flow 2.2 GPM @ 60 PSI
Showerheads = Maximum Flow 2.0 GPM @ 80 PSI, Must be WaterSense Certified
Toilets = Maximum 1.28 Gallons Per Flush, Must be WaterSense Certified
Urinals = Maximum 0.5 Gallons Per Flush, Must be WaterSense Certified

What's going on in Georgia?

Georgia's Water Stewardship Act of 201 (SB370) restricts the sale of plumbing products based on the following criteria:

Bathroom Faucets = Maximum Flow 1.5 GPM, Must be WaterSense Certified
Kitchen Faucets = Maximum Flow 2.0 GPM
Showerheads = Maximum Flow 2.5 GPM, Must be WaterSense Certified
Toilets = Maximum 1.28 Gallons Per Flush, Must be WaterSense Certified
Urinals = Maximum 0.5 Gallons Per Flush, Must be WaterSense Certified

What's going on in California?

California Green Building Standards (also called CalGreen for short) affects installation only.

Bathroom Faucets = Maximum Flow 2.2 GPM @ 60 PSI
Kitchen Faucets = Maximum Flow 2.2 GPM @ 60 PSI
Showerheads = Maximum Flow 2.5 GPM @ 60 PSI
Toilets = Maximum 1.6 Gallons Per Flush
Urinals = Maximum 1.0 Gallons Per Flush

What's going on in Texas?

Covers installation but will restrict sales in 2014.

Bathroom Faucets = Maximum Flow 2.2 GPM
Kitchen Faucets = Maximum Flow 2.2 GPM
Showerheads = Maximum Flow 2.5 GPM
Toilets = Maximum 1.6 Gallons Per Flush
Urinals = Maximum 1.0 Gallons Per Flush
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