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November 12, 2009 - Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »
I’m Dan Hounsell, editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today’s topic is plumbing-system specification.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a new WaterSense final specification for flushing urinals. Flushing urinals that meet this final specification will use no more than 0.5 gallons per flush (gpf), which is one-half of the 1-gpf federal standard for urinals set by the Energy Policy Act of 1992.
Of the 12 million urinals in use in the United States, up to 65 percent are inefficient units with flush volumes exceeding the 1.0 gpf federal standard, some by as much as 3.0 gpf, according to the EPA. On average, users flush a urinal about 20 times a day, so an organization will save 4,000 gallons or more annually for every WaterSense-labeled urinal it installs. Eligible models include the urinal fixture, which can be made of ceramic — vitreous china — plastic, or stainless steel, along with the pressurized — flushometer valve — or gravity tank-type flushing device.
The scope of this specification does not include non-water urinals, composting urinals, and retrofit devices or other aftermarket-retrofit systems, so they cannot earn the WaterSense label at this time.
Manufacturers that produce urinal fixtures and flushing devices meeting EPA’s efficiency and performance criteria can apply to have their products earn the WaterSense label. For more information, visit www.epa.gov/watersense/.