ecoTransitions Promotes EPA’s “Fix a Leak Week” March 15–21, 2010

Marietta, GA—Because minor water leaks account for more than 1 trillion gallons of water wasted each year in U.S. homes, ecoTransitions is promoting “Fix a Leak Week,” March 15 through 21, 2010. Fix a Leak Week is sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) WaterSense® program as an annual reminder to Americans to check household plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems for leaks.

“Leaks can add up to more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted at home every year—that’s enough to fill a backyard swimming pool,” said Andrea Paulinellli, CEO and President. “ecoTransitions is participating in Fix a Leak Week to help homeowners save money on their utility bills and to help save water in our community and for future generations. Atlanta may lose its rights to access water from Lake Lanier in 2012. If that is the case, Georgia must undertake the difficult — and costly — process of either living on less or finding more water. By replacing old, water-guzzling fixtures in our households, we can make a great start in reducing our indoor water use by up to 50 percent.”

To help consumers here in Georgia and across the country save water, ecoTransitions and WaterSense are promoting ways to identify and repair dripping faucets, running toilets, and leaky showerheads. In most cases, fixture replacement parts pay for themselves quickly and can be installed by do-it-yourselfers, your favorite handy person, plumber, or WaterSense irrigation partner. Following are a few water-saving tips:

  • Reduce faucet leaks by checking faucet washers and gaskets for wear and, if necessary, replace the faucet with a WaterSense labeled model. 
  • Leaky toilets are most often the result of a worn toilet flapper. Replacing the rubber flapper is a quick fix that could save a home with a constantly running toilet up to 200 gallons of water per day. If the leaky toilet uses 3.5 gallons per flush, replace it with a High Efficiency Toilet and save hundreds of Dollars per year. 
  • For a leaky garden hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench. 
  • Landscape irrigation systems should be checked each spring before use to make sure they are not damaged by frost or freezing. 

If homeowners have to replace a plumbing fixture, ecoTransitions reminds them to look for the WaterSense label. WaterSense labeled toilets, faucets, and (soon) showerheads have been independently tested and certified to save water and perform as well as or better than standard models. For more information on Fix a Leak Week, visit www.epa.gov/watersense/fixaleak.

 

 
 
 

 

About ecoTransitions Inc Located in Marietta, Georgia, near Atlanta, ecoTransitions is a supplier for WaterSense labeled Caroma Dual Flush toilets. These High Efficiency Toilets (HET’s) qualify for the $100 Toilet rebate available in most Metro Atlanta Counties.  On the Web: http://www.ecotransitions.com , Email: sales@ecotransitions.com, Phone: (678) 313-9260.

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WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, seeks to protect the future of our nation’s water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water. For more information on WaterSense, and for a full list of labeled products and WaterSense irrigation and builder partners, visit www.epa.gov/watersense.

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Save Water While Saving Money—Georgia Sales Tax Holiday Features WaterSense® Labeled Products

If you’re planning to buy a toilet or bathroom sink faucet this fall, timing your purchase to coincide with Georgia’s sales tax holiday for WaterSense labeled products can help you save a little money. Between October 1 and October 4, 2009, customers will not have to pay sales tax on toilets and bathroom sink faucets and accessories that have earned the WaterSense label. Consumers can be sure that products with the WaterSense label have been independently certified to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) rigorous criteria for water efficiency and performance. 

Purchasing and installing WaterSense labeled products is a key way Georgians can save water. If just one out of every four households in Georgia would retrofit their bathrooms with WaterSense labeled bathroom fixtures, it could save nearly 10 billion gallons per year—enough for every Georgian to take a shower daily for about two months. 

Whether remodeling a bathroom, constructing a new home, or simply replacing older, inefficient fixtures that waste money and water, consider installing a WaterSense labeled toilet or bathroom sink faucet. 

As consumers shop for WaterSense labeled toilets during the sales tax holiday, they can be sure these fixtures use 20 percent less water than the current federal standard for toilets and that WaterSense labeled bathroom sink faucets and accessories will reduce a sink’s water flow by 30 percent or more. Because all products must be tested to meet EPA’s criteria before earning the WaterSense label, these water savings are achieved without sacrificing performance. 

The sales tax holiday on WaterSense labeled products will start Thursday, October 1 at midnight and will continue through the weekend until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, October 4.  Any WaterSense labeled product purchased for noncommercial home or personal use during the sales tax holiday will be Georgia state sales tax-free. 

For more information on the sales tax holiday, visit Conserve Water Georgia.

For more information on WaterSense, please visit www.epa.gov/watersense

For more information on WaterSense labeled, High Efficiency Toilets, please contact GA’s largest seller of the award-winning Caroma Dual Flush toilets, ecoTransitions. All of Caroma’s 47 floor mounted models also qualify for the $100 toilet rebate offered by most Metro Atlanta Water authorities. For more information, visit http://www.ecotransitions.com/ or contact them via email at sales@ecotransitions.com or by phone at (678) 313-9260. ecotrans_watersense_partner logo

Sales Tax holiday in Georgia October 1-4, 2009

October 1-4, 2009

A culture of conservation is growing in Georgia.

We are responsible for the stewardship of our state’s natural resources. Incorporating energy and water conservation practices into our daily lives benefits everyone in our state now and for generations to come. And small changes can make a big impact in our pocketbooks. To help make those changes a little easier, Georgia is offering the ENERGY STAR® and WaterSense® Sales Tax Holiday, Oct. 1-4, 2009.

During the sales tax holiday, you can purchase ENERGY STAR-qualified or WaterSense-labeled products up to $1,500 without paying sales tax. In addition to the up-front cost savings, purchasing and installing more-efficient appliances and products can reduce in-home utility costs and improve both energy and water conservation.

 

ENERGY STAR®

ENERGY STAR products meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy. These appliances, electronics and lighting operate while using less energy – and less money – than older models.

Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, prevented 43 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2008 alone – equivalent to the annual emissions from 29 million vehicles – and saved more than $19 million on their utility bills. By looking to ENERGY STAR for best practices and products, households can reduce their energy use and save about one-third, or $750 annually, on their utility bills, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

 

WaterSense®

WaterSense, a national program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, makes it easy to find water-efficient products. Toilets, faucets and other products that are independently certified to meet U.S. EPA criteria for water effi­ciency and performance can earn the label.Look for WaterSense labeled products

The average household spends as much as $500 per year on its water and sewer bill. By installing WaterSense-labeled fixtures and ENERGY STAR-qualified appliances that use water more efficiently, a household could save about $170 per year. If just one out of every four households in Georgia retrofit their bathrooms with WaterSense-labeled fixtures, it could save nearly 10 billion gallons of water per year – enough for every Georgian to take a shower daily for about two months.

For more information on ENERGY STAR, please visit http://www.gefa.org/Index.aspx?page=352

For more information on WaterSense, please visit http://www.conservewatergeorgia.net/documents/ waterSense_taxHoliday.html

Revised Draft Water-Efficient Single-Family New Home Specification – Public comment period until July 7

Source http://www.epa.gov/watersense/specs/homes.htm

Update

EPA will conduct a public meeting on June 10, 2009 from 8 am – 5 pm (Eastern Time) at the Holiday Inn Capitol – Washington, DC . To register for the meeting, please fill out and submit the Water-Efficient Single-Family New Home Public Meeting Registration Form by June 3, 2009.

EPA will hold an additional public Webinar on June 22, 2009 from 1 pm – 4 pm (Eastern Time) for those unable to attend the Washington, DC meeting. To register for the Webinar, please fill out and submit the Water-Efficient Single-Family New Home Public Meeting Registration Form by June 17, 2009.

Revised Specification Information

EPA released a draft specification for water-efficient single-family new homes on May 22, 2008. Based on substantial feedback and significant revisions, EPA released a revised draft specification on May 8, 2009.

This specification establishes the criteria for water-efficient new homes under EPA’s WaterSense program. When finalized, it will be applicable to newly constructed single-family homes and townhomes, three stories or less in size.

In addition, to meet the Landscape Design Criteria (Section 4.1.1), the builder may choose to comply by completing a water budget. EPA has developed a tool to guide these calculations. The first version of the tool, released on November 20, 2008, was based on methodology developed by the irrigation industry as described in Irrigation Association’s Landscape Irrigation Scheduling and Water Management (2005). This second version incorporates additional research and recommendations suggested by stakeholders as part of the public comment process.

The third-party verification of WaterSense labeled new homes is intended to confirm that the builder has met the criteria of EPA’s specification for water-efficient single-family new homes. The inspection and irrigation audit guidelines explains how inspectors verify that the criteria have been met and must be followed in conjunction with the specification. These guidelines have been revised to incorporate revisions to the specification criteria and methods by which they will be tested.

EPA is interested in obtaining input from all interested parties on the revised draft specification materials. The public comment period is open for 60 days and ends on July 7, 2009. Please send any comments or suggestions regarding the revised draft specification materials to <watersense-newhomes@erg.com>. All comments become a part of the public record.

In order to facilitate the consistency and utility of comments received, please submit your comments using the Template for Public Comment Submission (MS Word) (1 pp, 50K). You may either download and save this document template and directly insert your comments, or attach your comments in your own document, provided that you clearly reference the text/section in question, your recommended changes, and why you think these changes are needed.

Additionally, WaterSense will be conducting a public comment meeting in June 2009. Additional information will be posted as it becomes available.

For more information about the water-efficient single family new home specification process, including the first draft, public comments, and EPA’s response to the public comments of the specification and water budget tool, please see the Water-Efficient Single-Family New Home Specification Background Materials page.

Fix a Leek Week

fix a leak week

Every Drop Counts

More than 1 trillion gallons of water are wasted in U.S. homes each year from easy-to-fix leaks. That’s why ecoTransitions is participating in Fix a Leak Week, March 16 to 20, 2009, and we encourage you to join us.

Sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) WaterSense® program, this week is an opportunity to improve the water efficiency of your homes by checking for and fixing leaks, which waste an average of 11,000 gallons of water per home each year. That’s more than enough water to fill up a backyard swimming pool!  

Here’s how to identify and address leaks around your home:  promolabel_blue_look

  • Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes at all, you probably have a leak.           
  • To determine if you have a leak, now is a great time to check water usage. If a family of four exceeds 12,000 gallons per month in the winter, you probably have leaks! 
  • Search for toilet leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If any color shows up in the bowl without flushing first, you have a leak. (Be sure to flush immediately to avoid staining the tank.) 
  • If you decide it’s time for a new commode or faucet, look for WaterSense labeled products, which use 20 percent less water and perform as well or better than standard models. The vast majority of leaks can be eliminated after retrofitting a household with new WaterSense labeled fixtures and other high-efficiency appliances.

Faucets and Showerheads:

  • A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year. A home with WaterSense labeled toilets could use that water to flush for six months!
  • You can reduce faucet leaks by checking faucet washers and gaskets for wear and replacing them if necessary. If you are replacing a faucet, look for the WaterSense label.
  • A showerhead leaking at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons per year. That’s enough water to wash 60 loads of dishes in your dishwasher.
  • Most leaky showerheads can be fixed by ensuring a tight connection using pipe tape and a wrench.   

Toilets:

  • If your toilet is running constantly, you could be wasting 200 gallons of water or more every day.
  • If your toilet is leaking, the cause is most often an old, faulty toilet flapper. Over time, this inexpensive rubber part decays, or minerals build up on it. It’s usually best to replace the whole rubber flapper-a relatively easy, inexpensive do-it-yourself project that pays for itself in no time.
  • If you do need to replace the entire toilet, look for a WaterSense labeled model. If a family of four replaces its older, inefficient toilets with new WaterSense labeled ones, it could save more than 16,000 gallons per year. Retrofitting the house could save the family approximately $2,000 in water and wastewater bills over the lifetime of the toilets.

Outdoors:

  • An irrigation system should be checked each spring before use to make sure it was not damaged by frost or freezing.
  • An irrigation system with pressure set at 60 pounds per square inch that has a leak 1/32nd of an inch in diameter (about the thickness of a dime) can waste about 6,300 gallons of water per month.
  • To ensure that your in-ground irrigation system is not leaking water, consult with a WaterSense irrigation partner who has passed a certification program focused on water efficiency.
  • Check your garden hose for leaks at its connection to the spigot. If it leaks while you run your hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench. 

As a WaterSense partner concerned with preserving our nation’s water supply, ecoTransitions can help you learn more. Use our water savings calculator to determine how much water you can save by installing a Caroma Dual Flush toilet.  

 

Learn More 

Fix a Leak Week is March 16 to 20, 2009. Grab a wrench or contact your favorite handy person, plumber, or WaterSense irrigation partner to address leaking toilets, faucets, and irrigation systems around your home. Visit the WaterSense Web site to learn more. 

 

About EPA’s WaterSense Program

WaterSense is a partnership program sponsored by EPA. Its mission is to protect the future of our nation’s water supply by promoting and enhancing the market for water-efficient products and services. Currently, there are nearly 250 WaterSense labeled toilets, 500 labeled faucets and faucet accessories, and more than 550 certified irrigation partners. WaterSense labeled products must achieve independent, third-party testing and certification to prove they meet EPA’s rigorous criteria for efficiency and performance.

First WaterSense® labeled new home in the Nation built by Vanguard Homes

Source: CarolinaNewswire.com

Chapel Hill, NC — NC’s leading Energy Star builders, Anderson Homes and sister company Vanguard Homes, continue to lead the way in “green” innovation. -Chosen as one of only 7 builders in the country to participate in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense new homes pilot program, Vanguard Homes has received the first ever WaterSense label on a new home. WaterSense labeled new homes by Vanguard will be designed to be at least 20 percent more water efficient than homes currently being built under traditional standards, saving homeowners more than 10,000 gallons of water per year. These homes are designed to use significantly less water inside and out, through efficient plumbing fixtures, hot water delivery, appliances, landscape design, and irrigation systems.

The first WaterSense labeled new home built by Vanguard Homes is located in the community of Briar Chapel in Chapel Hill, NC. This “Sensibly Green Concept Home” is the first home in the country to receive the EPA WaterSense label and has achieved gold level certification from the Green Home Builders of the Triangle and National Home Builder’s Association Green Building Standard.

“This kind of WaterSense label is a milestone for us as a builder and leader in the industry, and we strive to achieve that kind of excellence every day,” says Kip Guyon, President of Vanguard Homes. “It is so important to maximize homesite integrity, while minimizing environmental impact”, he also added. Vanguard Homes’ WaterSense labeled new home conserves water by using WaterSense labeled dual flush toilets, bathroom faucets and high-efficiency shower heads. In addition ENERGY STAR® rated clothes washers, dishwashers, a whole house filtration system and a hot water circulation pump work in harmony to save water.

WaterSense was created by the U.S. EPA in 2006 to help Americans save water for future generations. WaterSense labeled new homes, while saving water resources as well as money for the homeowners, also lessen the stress on water and wastewater infrastructure systems across the country.

For more information/education of the importance of WaterSense labeled new homes by Vanguard Homes, please visit http://www.epa.gov/watersense/.

To learn more about Vanguard Homes, visit http://www.VanguardHomesNC.com

January is National Radon Month. What is Radon?

Living “green” is about more than just energy efficiency and recycling – it’s also about giving your family a healthier home.  Breathing “greener” air means checking your home for radon, a leading indoor air problem that is the second leading cause of lung cancer.  Breathing in high levels of radon indoors can lead to lung cancer yet it is easily preventable.  A simple home radon test can tell you if you have a problem. If your home does have a high radon level, there are simple ways to reduce this radioactive gas and make your home’s air safer.

Check out this article EPA: One in 15 Homes in Virginia Have Elevated Levels of Radon

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.It is a colorless, tasteless, odorless radioactive gas that enters your home through cracks and crevices in the foundation.   Decomposition products attach to very small particles in the air which then can be breathed into the lungs, potentially resulting in serious health consequences. National statistics indicate that one in fifteen homes in the U.S. have unacceptable levels of radon. ANY house can contain elevated levels of radon unless there is a functioning radon system in place. It’s not a sign of a bad builder – shifting and settling happens. The only way to know whether your house has unacceptable levels of radon is to have the lowest livable space in the home tested. You may test yourself using kits that are available at home supply stores or seek professional assistance. Winter is the best time to test since doors and windows are kept closed allowing radon concentrations to reach detectable levels. If radon occurs as a result of out gassing from the soil, the most common reason, it can be readily mitigated with ventilation for roughly $1,000. Removal technology is simple and straightforward. It involves blocking points of entry into the lowest livable space in the home and venting areas to the outside using an active circulation system to exhaust basement air. Usually plastic ducting and piping are sufficient, and these low-cost materials help keep total costs low. In a few rare cases, it has been discovered that foundations were made of radioactive mine tailings or other waste materials. In these situations, the costs of radon mitigation become substantially more than $1,000.

More Articles on This Topic:U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Indoor Air – Radon, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: A Citizen’s Guide to Radon 

This is a Press release from the EPA

Release date: 01/05/2009

Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543, smith.bonnie@epa.gov

PHILADELPHIA (January 5, 2009) – – Radon doesn’t have to be the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. By testing for radon and taking any needed preventive steps you can protect yourself and your family from this health threat.
Radon comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. It is an invisible, tasteless, radioactive gas that can become trapped indoors. When you breathe air containing radon, you are exposing yourself to the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon is found all over the country and in any type of building including homes, offices, and schools. Because we spend most of our time indoors at this time of year, this is the best time to test our homes for radon.

While many health challenges are tough to solve and expensive, testing for radon is easy and inexpensive. For $20 you can buy a “do-it-yourself” radon test kit at a hardware store or retail outlet. Many of us had our homes tested when they were purchased, but that may have been 20 years ago. EPA recommends you get your home tested every five years, since foundations can shift over time.

If your test shows high levels of radon, confirm with another test and fix the problem. A high radon level might be lowered with a straight-forward radon venting system installed by a contractor. Mitigation costs generally run from $1,000 to $2,500. In new homes, builders can easily and economically include radon-resistant features during construction, and home buyers should ask for these. EPA also recommends that home buyers ask their builder to test for radon before they move in.

EPA estimates that one in 15 homes will have a radon level of four picocuries per liter of air or more, a level the agency considers high. Based on the national radon map, all of the mid-Atlantic states – – Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, D.C., and Delaware – – have areas with elevated radon levels.

For more information about radon contact our regional website at: http://www.epa.gov/reg3artd/Indoor/radon.htm or contact our national website at http://www.epa.gov/radon or call 1-800-SOS-RADON (767-7236).

You can also reach your state radon office on-line or by phone at:

Delaware Health and Social Services Administration at 302-739-4731
Maryland calls go to EPA Region 3 at 215-814-2086
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection at 717-783-3594
Virginia Radiological Health Programs at 804-786-5932
Washington D.C. Department of Public Health at 202-535-2999
West Virginia Radiological Health Program at 304-558-6716

January is National Radon Action Month: http://www.epa.gov/radon/nram/public.html

If you live in a single family home or an older ground floor condo please get your home tested! Contact your local state Radon contact to find out how to obtain inexpensive test kits or to find a local radon specialist.