Posts Tagged ‘low flow’


Low Flow Delivers High Satisfaction in Water Conservation Retrofit Test

Posted on March 16, 2012 by Nora DePalma

If you were offered a free upgrade to a low flow toilet or water saving showerhead, would you happily accept, or would you think twice about it because of concerns about performance? That challenge was accepted by twenty-one homeowners in the suburban Atlanta communities of Serenbe and Chastain Lakes who agreed to participate in a water conservation retrofit by replacing their traditional showerheads, toilets, and faucets with water saving, WaterSense-certified models from American Standard.

The installations - 71 toilets, 96 faucets, and 55 showerheads - were completed by Georgia’s first licensed GreenPlumber®, Nick Marine of Marine Plumbing in Marietta, GA. Individually, the faucets and toilets were rated to save 20% more water than standard fixtures, and the low flow showerheads used were rated to save 20-40% of water use.

The retrofit was found to be an unqualified success, based on monthly measurements of water use recorded before and after installation of the new fixtures. Serenbe households saved an average of 20% more water, and homeowners in the older development of Chastain Lakes saved 25% more water on average. These neat percentages aside, calculating the real water savings from the retrofit was difficult because of the many factors involved in a household water bill. For example, if a household a few extra loads of laundry to do that month, or a weekend houseguest, the total water savings could have easily appeared smaller than they actually would be over time.

Low flow toilets and faucets often get a bad rap for supposedly offering poor performance, but that was the point of this experiment: the retrofit was designed to demonstrate that conserving water doesn’t have to feel like a sacrifice. Across the board, participants raved about their new plumbing fixtures. “We absolutely LOVE our new fixtures. Our showerheads seem to have better water pressure and we are conserving water now, which we weren’t before,” reported Serenbe homeowner Dallas Nevins, two months after installation. Neighbor Sarah Richards agreed, noting that, “For the first time ever, I can say that I love my toilets.”

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National Kitchen and Bath Association Public Relations Society of America: Georgia Green Earth PR Network