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"2010's Top-5 New and Innovative Water Efficient Products"

At the International Emerging Technology Symposium, John Koeller of Koeller and Co., and Bill Gauley of Veritec Consulting gave the presentation "2010's Top-5 New and Innovative Water Efficient Products." The below is taken from their presentation.

The authors (Gauley & Koeller) have no special interest, financial or otherwise, in the products, technologies, companies, or organizations manufacturing, promoting, or selling the products described in this presentation.

This presentation identifies those products that, in the authors’ opinion, are innovative, and likely to result in substantial water savings.

To qualify for consideration, the products had to meet the following:

  • Indoor water use reduction (irrigation is another matter)
  • Residential and non-residential applications
  • Generally available in the marketplace
  • A product, technology, or program
  • Can be a new approach to an old application
  • But, no "ideas" or undeveloped products
  • Water use can be determined
  • Field or laboratory - "real world" preferred
  • Potential for significant, long-term impact
  • Regional or all of North America
  • Potable or non-potable water

The results were determined by the following:

  • Work with manufacturers & industry leaders
  • Feedback from water utilities & water efficiency practitioners
  • Laboratory and field testing by Veritec, Koeller, & others
  • Interviews with other stakeholders...
    • Green building advocates
    • WaterSense® implementation team members
    • Facilities managers and property owners

With those guidelines in mind, here is the list:

#5 High-Efficiency Commercial Dishwashers

There are an estimated 150,000 high-capacity DWs in N.A., many over 15 years old.
While energy costs are primarily driving machine efficiencies, there is also a huge water savings potential.

Evolution of hot water use efficiency to wash, rinse, sanitize:

  • 1990s - 2.5 gallons per rack (9.5 Litres)
  • 2000 - 1.2 gallons per rack (4.5 Litres)
  • 2010 - 0.3 gallons per rack (1.1 Litres)

Water Savings (U.S. and Canada)

Total potential annual potable water savings - estimated - 21 billion gallons or 80 bil. litres.


#4 Waterless Wok

Detailed studies have shown that the average daily water use of a conventional wok stove is 3,000 gallons per day.

The Wok Water Saver uses a Refrigeration System that can be turned on when the Woks are started and continually cools to the perfect temperature for cooking, while making continuously running water a thing of the past. Waterless Wok technologies only use 2.3% additional energy, and can result in a savings of 120 gallons per hour.

Water Savings (U.S. and Canada)

Total potential annual potable water savings - 37 billion gallons or 140 billion litres.

Typical wok kitchen

Waterless Wok


#3 Hot Water Demand System (after-market)

Though not "new" technology per se, the system reduces "wait times" for hot water. It primarily is a user benefit, with water use reduction a secondary benefit. Most user/homeowners install for convenience and just happen to save water.

The system should not be confused with a tankless water heater or a "point-of-use" water heater. The system utilizes a high-performance pump, an integrated controller, and electronic zone valve. Ambient temperature water in the hot water line (the water that is typically wasted down the drain waiting for hot water) is returned to the water heater via either a dedicated return line or simply through the existing cold water supply piping..

A barrier to installation is that it requires an electrical outlet under the lavatory sink furthest from water heater (i.e., installation often includes the cost of an electrician).

Water Savings (U.S. and Canada)

Total potential annual potable water savings - 250+ billion gallons or 950+ billion litres.


#2 - After-market Dual-flush Retrofit Conversion Device

But there are many mfrs (currently greater than 12) with products of questionable performance & safety.

In 2009, Koeller and Veritec issued a CAUTION STATEMENT to the water utility industry related to these devices, stating that these types of retrofit devices:

  • May actually increase full flush volume rather than save water
  • May negatively affect toilet flush performance
  • May reduce trap seal below the miniumum required by the plumbing code

Furthermore, there is no accepted performance "standard" for these after-market devices.

Koeller and Veritec offered manufacturers the opportunity to participate in 3rd-party testing to address issues (manufacturers were to pay for testing). Manufacturers were informed that all test results would be published – good or bad.

Test protocol elements:

  • Maximum flush volumes (reduced and full flush)
  • Tests would determine if the flush volume of the full and reduced flush could be independently adjusted.
  • Tests would evaluate the ease of installation (need to remove tank?) and the ease of adjustment
  • Testes would evaluate the overall quality of kit and the expected water savings

Many manufacturers initially showed interest, but only 2 submitted products for testing.
Only 1 (so far) meets the minimum requirements related to flush volume, flush performance, and trap seal.

Water Savings (U.S. and Canada)

Total potential annual potable water savings - 300+ billion gallons or 1+ trillion litres


#1 - 0.8gal/3.0L Residential Toilet

Niagara’s 0.8 GPF Stealth™ (called the "Proficiency" in Canada) UHET -- ultra high-efficiency toilet -- goes a step beyond the standard water-saving toilets available on the market. The patented system uses the energy created by water filling and falling in the tank during a flush cycle in addition to the actual flush volume to help evacuate all waste in the bowl.

Field-testing has been successfully completed in Ontario, Canada and is currently underway in Southern California. Drainline transport for all types of toilet fixtures was addressed in 2005 with the study that can be accessed here:. www.veritec.ca/uploads/Drainline%20Report%20Revision%201

Single flush - NO "behavioral" element!!

Water Savings (U.S. and Canada)

Total potential annual potable water savings - 1 trillion gallons or 4 trillion litres

Wrapping up the "Top 5":

Top 5



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