Letting your faucet run for five minutes not only wastes water, but energy -- as much energy as it takes to keep a 60-watt lightbulb lit for 14 hours, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
The EPA in unveiling a new labeling system for sink faucets that will help consumers choose models that use water more efficiently. Turning off the tap when they're not using the faucet, of course, will still be up to individuals.
The WaterSense label, like the Energy Star label for energy-efficient appliances will be used to mark water-efficient fixtures. It's already used to mark toilets that use 20% less water than comparable models, and more than 60 products have qualified. Today, the EPA published specifications that faucets will need to meet -- namely, that they allow no more than 1.5 gallons of water to flow per minute.
Faucets with the WaterSense label should be on plumbing store shelves in 2008.
Bathrooms account for about half the water use in most homes, and installing both an efficient toilet and efficient faucets can save the average American family 11,000 gallons of water per year.
For more information about the WaterSense program and label, click here.
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