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Lowe’s, Kohler, KB Home Win EPA Water Awards

Lowe’s helped its customers save about 4 billion gallons of water last year, and Kohler introduced 40 new water-efficient toilet models to the North American market in 2011, earning both companies EPA awards.

Colorado Springs Utilities, American Standard Brands and KB Home also received 2012 WaterSense partners of the year awards for their water conservation efforts.

Since the EPA launched the program in 2006, WaterSense-labeled products have helped Americans save $4.7 billion from their water and energy bills and 287 billion gallons of water, according to the EPA. The agency says the water and energy savings are a result of its more than 2,600 program partners that have brought more than 5,000 different models of WaterSense-labeled products to market.

Colorado Springs Utilities took home the 2012 promotional partner of the year award for its efforts that resulted in the first WaterSense-labeled home in Colorado and the six-state EPA Region 8.

In 2011, the utility also helped hundreds of commercial kitchens save water by offering them free, water-efficient pre-rinse spray valve nozzles for cleaning dishes. The commercial retrofit program helped facilities save more than 20 million gallons of water in 2011, or one-third of the utility’s annual water savings goal.

EPA recognized two 2012 manufacturer partners of the year: American Standard Brands and Kohler. From March to November 2011, the American Standard Responsible Bathroom Tour crossed the country, offering hands-on product demonstrations of WaterSense-labeled toilets, faucets and showerheads at more than 100 plumbing wholesale supply firms, and teaming up with 13 local utilities to promote local rebate programs along the way, according to the EPA.

Three-time WaterSense manufacturer partner of the year and two-time WaterSense excellence award winner Kohler partnered with Habitat for Humanity to install WaterSense labeled toilets, faucets, and showerheads in 550 Habitat homes in California and Texas. Also in 2011, the company introduced the most water-efficient dual-flush toilet in Kohler’s history.

According to the EPA, the company’s stock of lavatory faucets and urinal fixtures is made up of nearly 100 percent WaterSense-labeled models, and the number of Kohler’s WaterSense-labeled showerhead models more than doubled last year.

In addition to helping customers save about 4 billion gallons of water in 2011, Lowe’s won the retail/distributor partner of the year prize — its third in the past four years — for supporting the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association’s inaugural Fix a Leak Week activities, EPA says. The company also worked with the Shelton Group, Kohler, Bosch Home Appliances and Procter and Gamble to launch the Wasting Water is Weird campaign. The campaign included three PSA television spots, outdoor billboards and signs, an educational website, and a social media presence through Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and digital display ads.

Two-time WaterSense builder partner of the year KB Home built about 100 WaterSense-labeled new homes in five communities in California, Texas and Florida in 2011. The company also built net-zero energy use homes, and the ZeroHouse models in Austin and San Antonio earned the WaterSense label.

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3 thoughts on “Lowe’s, Kohler, KB Home Win EPA Water Awards

  1. This is really good to see. The US tops the table in water usage compared to other countries. It would be good to see a similar promotional push towards moving away from bottled water.

  2. The EPA has some wonderful ideas. They also seem to have some crackpot ideas, too.

    The City of San Francisco, is/was an early adopter of the EPA’s WaterSense toilets. The City financed the installation of about 16,000 of these devices. They don’t have sufficient flow of water through the sewer system to flush the waste. There are approximately 300,000 residences in San Francisco. Now, (no pun intended) there is a stink in San Francisco.

    Saving water is a great idea. Ruining one’s home isn’t.

    By trade I’m a writer of cookbooks and food articles for magazines. I say this as I don’t own stock in a business related to water, plumbing fixtures, construction, architecture … I’m trying to say I don’t have a financial interest in what I write about at:


    There I have tried to chronicle the development of how these low water use toilets came into existence and the consequences of violating the laws of physics, because politicians think that’s a wise idea.

  3. Most low flow toilets use about 1.6 gallons of water per flush. That is in comparison to regular toilets, that may use roughly 3.5 gallons (source: Wikipedia). That’s about a factor of two difference. But with only 16,000 low flow toilets and about 300,000 households, the reduction in total sewer volume is only 50% * (16/300) = 2.6%. And it’s actually considerably smaller even than that figure, since I haven’t accounted for sewer flows from commercial sites.

    I hardly believe that San Francisco sewer problems stem from the use of low flow toilets.

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