Washington State legislators want to do whatever they can to save water. Their idea is to reduce plumbing flow rates in faucets, showerheads, toilets, and urinals. Manufacturers are expressing their concern due to what lower flow rates can do to endanger the public. Keeping water in pipes longer and increasing water age can dissipate disinfection agents and foster the growth of biofilms that amplify the growth of opportunistic waterborne pathogens in plumbing systems.
The EPA is funding two studies measuring the potential impact of low flow rates and waterborne disease outbreaks and other water quality problems. Recently the EPA indicated that both projects hypothesize that low flow rates have contributed to outbreaks of waterborne diseases and other water quality problems in building plumbing systems.
All of these reasons are why Plumbing Manufacturers International – the association representing these plumbing product manufacturers – urges the Senate to consider going to WaterSense (National Flow Rate Law) levels rather than going below them, at least until the impact of reducing flow rates even further can be studied.