WaterSense Labeled Homes

Delivering on Efficiency in Salt Lake City, Utah

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
established WaterSense to protect the future of
the nation's water supply and to promote water-
efficient products, homes, and programs with a
simple, easy-to-identify label. WaterSense labeled
homes allow families to enjoy the comforts of
home while using less water and energy and
saving money on utility bills.

To earn the WaterSense label, homes must meet
EPA's specification criteria: they must be at least
30 percent more water-efficient than typical new
home construction, include WaterSense labeled
plumbing products, and be free of water leaks.

WaterSense labeled homes can also include
features such as: hot water that gets to the tap
faster; ENERGY STAR® certified appliances;
efficient irrigation equipment; and water-smart
landscapes that minimize or eliminate the need
for irrigation.

Why Water Efficiency Matters to
Communities and Builders

Benefits of WaterSense Certification

For Communities/Water Agencies:

•	Preserves the ability to add new housing and
grow communities while limiting impacts on
water and infrastructure resources.

•	Achieves greater water efficiency using a
whole-house, building-science approach and
system solutions that may not be possible
solely with efficient products.

•	Encourages builders to design homes with
water-efficient features in mind, maximizing
water savings at minimal incremental cost.

For Builders:

•	Mitigates the rising cost of water and utility
connection fees.

•	Leverages support from existing communities
and investors.

•	Offers advantages in the permitting and land
entitlement processes.

•	Supports corporate disclosures and reporting.

Water supplies are an ongoing concern in Salt
Lake City, Utah, and other communities along the
Wasatch Front. More than 60 percent of Salt Lake
City's water comes from the Wasatch Mountain
snowpack, and the remaining needs are met by
groundwater wells. Despite its proximity to
mountain snowfall, this part of the state
frequently experiences drought. The figure on the next page shows the drought status in Salt Lake
County between 2000 and 2023, with yellow denoting abnormally dry conditions and darker colors
indicating even greater drought intensity. Over the same period, the Salt Lake City metropolitan area's
population increased by nearly 35 percent. Salt Lake and other regions affected by frequent droughts
need to plan communities wisely so as not to overstress limited water supplies as population grows.


WaterSense labeled homes can help preserve the ability to add housing in communities that are water-
or infrastructure-constrained by minimizing the impact of new construction on water resources.
Simultaneously, they can also mitigate the impact of rising costs of water and connection fees.

Salt Lake County (UT) Percent Area in U.S. Drought Monitor Categories









DO (Abnormally Dry) D1 (Moderate Drought) D2 (Severe Drought) H D3 (Extreme Drought) D4 (Exceptional Drought)

Why Choose WaterSense Labeled Homes

The WaterSense label for homes provides a whole-house approach to water efficiency. The programs
that certify homes through WaterSense address specific climate and market conditions by encouraging
system and design improvements in addition to efficient products and appliances. This approach helps
maximize savings and reduce costs for the builder, the homeowner, and the community.

WaterSense labeled homes can achieve significantly more savings than homes with WaterSense
labeled plumbing products alone. Plus, WaterSense labeled homes carry the additional benefit of being
independently certified to ensure they are free of leaks and that products and systems are properly
installed to maximize savings.

Maximizing Water Savings With WaterSense Labeled Homes

The table on the next page illustrates the features that may be included under four scenarios in Salt
Lake City. This example uses a typical 2,400-square-foot home with an average-sized household (2.61
occupants) on a 10,000-square-foot lot that includes 5,826 square feet of conventional, irrigated turf
(unless otherwise specified). Assumptions for a typical home are based on national averages.

The baseline home includes products meeting federal efficiency standards and other features typical
of new construction. The home following the Mandatory Checklist for WaterSense Labeled Homes
includes WaterSense labeled toilets, faucets, and showerheads, but no additional water-efficient
features. The home meeting Utah standards is required to meet more rigorous product efficiency
criteria for certain plumbing products. Finally, the example WaterSense labeled home incorporates a
variety of water-efficient indoor and outdoor features that meet the water efficiency requirement for
WaterSense labeled homes and result in substantially more water savings.

This is just one example of a home that has earned the WaterSense label—other design configurations
could also meet the requirement. The example shows that for a hot and dry climate such as Salt Lake's,
improvements in indoor water efficiency will not be sufficient to achieve the 30 percent threshold. The


home will generally need to focus on maximizing outdoor water savings (e.g., reducing turf and using
non-irrigated or natural areas to reduce irrigable landscape area) to ensure it is at least 30 percent
more water-efficient than typical new construction.



Home Meeting

Home Meeting

Utah New

Example WaterSense
Labeled Home in Salt
Lake City*


1.6 gpf

1.28 gpf

1.6 gpf

1.28 gpf


2.5 gpm

2.0 gpm

2.0 gpm

1.8 gpm

Lavatory Faucets

2.2 gpm

1.5 gpm

1.5 gpm

1.2 gpm

Kitchen Faucets

2.2 gpm

2.2 gpm

2.2 gpm

2.0 gpm


5.0 gpc

5.0 gpc

5.0 gpc

3.5 gpc

Clothes Washers

6.5 IWF

6.5 IWF

6.5 IWF

4.3 IWF

Hot Water Delivery




More efficient hot water

Landscape and

Turf irrigated
with standard

fixed spray
sprinklers and

Turf irrigated with
standard fixed spray
sprinklers and

Turf irrigated with

standard fixed
spray sprinklers and

20% reduction in
irrigable landscape; half
of remaining landscape
converted to non-turf
design with pressure-

compensating drip
irrigation; WaterSense
labeled irrigation

Total Estimated
Annual Water Use


145,000 gallons

146,000 gallons

<111,000 gallons

Total Estimated
Annual Water and
Percent Savings
From Baseline

0 gallons
0% savings

14,000 gallons
5 to 13% savings

13,000 gallons
4 to 12% savings

>48,000 gallons
>30% savings

Feature meets federal
standard or common
construction practices

Feature meets
WaterSense or
ENERGY STAR criteria

Feature achieves greater
efficiency level than WaterSense
product specification criteria

gpf = gallons per flush; gpm = gallons per minute; gpc = gallons per cycle; IWF = integrated water factor
* For example purposes only. Home could qualify with a different combination of features, and a different
home with these features is not guaranteed to achieve WaterSense certification.

Learn More

Interested in learning more about WaterSense and how it can benefit your community? Visit

A m* EPA-832-F-23-002D

PHONE (866) WTR-SENS (987-7367) WEBSITEwww.epa.gov/watersense EMAILwatersense@epa.gov ^5S^ClTr\ May 2023