CenterPoint Home Energy Program


Plumbing

Access to fresh water is one of the world's major geopolitical issues, yet in most of the U.S. we still use drinking-quality water as if it were free and unlimited. A substantial portion of this usage happens in buildings where leaky plumbing drips it away and fixtures designed decades ago use exorbitant quantities.

In some areas of North America, water is drawn from ground and surface sources at unsustainable rates—in other words, withdrawals from aquifers exceeding annual recharge rates. For much of the year, for example, the Colorado River no longer reaches the Gulf of California. In the U.S., we currently withdraw more than 300 billion gallons of fresh water per day from streams, reservoirs, and wells. Even in places where the water supply has traditionally not been a concern, problems are appearing as populations grow or precipitation patterns change (perhaps due to global climate change).

Water-Saving Designs

On average, about 70 percent of a family's water use- about 280 gallons of water happens indoors; 21 percent of that is just from doing the laundry. With bath faucets and toilets dispensing almost 50 percent of the water in a home, water-efficient technology is a must! Toilet flushing uses over 4 billion gallons of water per day in the U.S. alone. While older toilets use about 4 gallons per flush (gbf), modern toilets that conform to the requirements of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 use no more than 1.6 gpf. The EPA also mandates that showerheads and faucets can use no more than 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm); the National Green Building Standard recommends 1.6 to less than 2.5 gpm. Simply replacing those older toilets, showerheads and faucets with the new ones has been found to reduce a household's overall water use between 10 percent and 30 percent. Custom homes with multiple showerheads need to comply with the fixtures per the single valve criteria.

The EPA's WaterSense program makes it easy for consumers to save water and protect the environment by identifying quality, water efficient products. If every American household installed water-saving bathroom sink faucets or accessories, we would save more than $350 million in water utility bills and over 60 billion gallons of water each year. And, since water used in bathrooms is often heated, saving water saves energy as well. The WaterSense label also appears on professional certification programs for landscape irrigation professionals.

Plumbing Suppliers

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