top of page

Water-Conserving Plumbing Fixtures

​Most plumbing fixtures manufactured before 1980 are inefficient in their water usage. Fixtures manufactured between 1980 and 1992 are better, but those manufactured after the federal government's 1992 Energy Policy are best. Today's generation of toilets, shower heads and faucets offer superior water conservation capabilities.

Toilets in a typical office building account for almost 70% of water usage. Replacing a conventional 5-gallon-per-flush toilet with a 1.6 gallon-per-flush model can reduce water consumption by more than half. Likewise, older conventional shower heads are usually rated at 5 gallons a minute, while new "water miser" heads have a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute.

Waterless urinals are becoming more popular now, replacing the typical 3-gallon-per-flush models.

Waterless Urinals

Photo courtesy of Uridan waterless urinals 

The town of Windsor, CO, created a Municipal Water Efficiency Plan to comply with Colorado’s Water Conservation Act of 2004. Included in this plan is the installation of water-efficient fixtures and appliances at town facilities, as well as regular water use audits.


The Northern Colorado Collaborative Efforts in Industrial, Commercial and Institutional Water Conservation has a website resource for information on water conservation targeted at water users and water providers. 


[1] Vickers, A. (1999) The Future of Water Conservation: Challenges Ahead (Rep.) Amherst, MA: Amy Vickers & Associates, 49-51.

[2] United States Environmental Protection Agency WaterSense. (2008) National Efficiency Standards and Specifications for Residential and Commercial Water-Using Fixtures and Appliances. (Rep.) Washington, D.C., 1-9.

[3] Muderlak, T. J., & Muderlak K. J. (2016) Water Conservation Fixture System and Method of Use. U.S. Patent No. US9458641B2. Washington, DC.: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

[4] Lee, M., & Tansel, B. (2013). Water conservation quantities vs customer opinion and satisfaction with water efficient appliances in Miami, Florida. Journal of Environmental Management, 128, 683-689. 

[5] United States Environmental Protection Agency (2018) Water Conservation at EPA.

[6] Lee, M., et al. (2011) Influence of residential water use efficiency measures on household water demand: A four year longitudinal study. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 56(1), 1-6.

[7] Perlman, H., & United States Geological Survey. (2016) Water Questions & Answers: How much water does the average person use at home per day?

[8] Kappel, K., & Grechenig, T. (2009). Water consumption at a glance to promote water conservation in the shower. Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Persuasive Technology - Persuasive 09, 1-6.

[9] Cupido, A., et al. (2016) Water Conservation: Observations From A Higher Education Management Perspective. Journal of Green Building, 11(3) 162-182.

bottom of page