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Georgia Water Efficiency Law Provisions Based on IAPMO Green Code

IAPMO's Green Plumbing and Mechanical Code Supplement (GPMCS) contributed specific provisions within the state of Georgia's Water Stewardship Act, set to go into effect on July 1. The new law, passed in 2010 as Senate Bill 370, creates new high efficiency standards for water-using fixtures installed and purchased on or after July 1, and also requires that cooling towers permitted for construction on or after that date meet high efficiency standards.

These provisions are based on language from the 2010 GPMCS, the first and most comprehensive document available to standardize sustainable residential and commercial plumbing and mechanical systems.

Georgians have dealt with extreme drought conditions and legal battles with Alabama and Florida over water for most of the two past decades, with many municipalities undertaking extreme measures such as outlawing lawn watering and car washing in an effort to conserve water. The Georgia Water Stewardship Act will aid conservation efforts by enacting new specifications as outlined in IAPMO's GPMCS:

  • Toilets, single flush and dual flush, must be U.S. EPA WaterSense® High Efficiency Toilets (HET) and must not exceed an average of 1.28 gallons per flush
  • Water-based urinals must not exceed an average of 0.5 gallons per flush
  • Showerheads must have a flow of less than 2.5 gallons per minute
  • Bathroom faucets must have a flow of less than 1.5 gallons per minute
  • Kitchen faucets must have a flow of less than 2.0 gallons per minute
  • Furthermore, GPMCS provisions regarding cooling towers and sub-meters are included: Newly installed cooling towers, or building heat removal devices, must be classified as high efficiency, in compliance with ASHRAE 90.1
  • Newly constructed multi-unit residential buildings, multi-unit retail and multi-unit light industrial buildings must be constructed to allow the owner/manager to measure water use by each unit

"We all have a role to play in conserving Georgia's water resources. IAPMO's technical guidance informed the development of the new efficiency standards and helped advance the state's commitment to conservation," said Alice Miller Keyes, Planning and Policy Advisor at the GA Environmental Protection Division. "Georgia is fortunate to have IAPMO's active participation and we look forward to building strong partnerships with them in the future."

The IAPMO GPMCS serves as a complement to any adopted plumbing and mechanical code, smoothly bridging the previously troublesome gap between existing codes and established green building programs. Where code language and green building concepts lack cohesion, the GPMCS creates harmony by addressing such areas as alternate water sources, high-efficiency plumbing products, conservation of hot water and training/education.

"IAPMO is pleased to be working with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources in promoting water conservation and helping to educate plumbers, inspectors, homeowners and other stakeholder groups on the provisions and penalties of the new law," said IAPMO Director of Special Services Dave Viola. "IAPMO has been committed to sustainable building practices for more than 85 years and the GPMCS is our flagship document toward bringing uniformity to such efforts."

For more information on the Georgia Water Stewardship Act, visit www.ConserveWaterGeorgia.net.

For more information on IAPMO's GPMCS, direct your Web browser to

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