PMI Leads Coalition to Drive New Water Efficiency Standards in Texas

Aug. 7, 2009

The Plumbing Manufacturers Institute (PMI) has led a coalition to help Texas become the second state nationwide to require high-efficiency toilets (HETs) in all new residential and commercial construction.

Texas House Bill 2667 was signed into law by Governor Rick Perry on June 19 and becomes effective September 1 this year, and it sets maximum showerhead flow rates at 2.5 gallons per minute and urinal flush volumes at 0.5 gallons of water per flush (GPF), in addition to the HET requirement. An HET is defined as a water closet that uses no more than 1.28 GPF or 20 percent less than the 1.6-GPF models mandated by the National Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct).

The bill requires that toilet and urinal manufacturers phase in HETs over the next 4 years, starting with 50 percent of in-state sales by January 1, 2010, and culminating with 100 percent by January 1, 2014. Additionally, the legislation states that any plumbing product certified by the federal WaterSense® Program is exempt from the new Texas efficiency standards, and it repeals all manufacturer product-filing fees and testing requirements formerly required by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the state testing and certification agency.

The legislation was filed on March 6 by Representative Alan Ritter (D-Nederland). Carole Baker of the Alliance for Water Efficiency and Karen Guz of the San Antonio Water System testified on behalf of the legislation. Environmental groups, such as the Natl. Wildlife Federation and the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club also registered support for HB 2667.

Texas is now the second state (after California) to pass a law requiring HETs.

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