Water System Operating Manual (for single-family homes)

Description

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) WaterSense® Home Specification

The EPA WaterSense Home Specification does not have a mandatory requirement for the delivery of operating manuals on all water using equipment. However, providing homeowners with operating manuals can increase the working lifetime of these systems. The following are recommended best pratices:

It is recommended that the builder develops and provides to the single-family homeowner a written operating and maintenance manual for all water-using equipment or controls installed in the house and yard, including all relevant WaterSense materials on indoor and outdoor water use. This may be a chapter or folder in an existing manual.

If clothes washers or dishwashers are not provided, general information about water-efficient appliances should be included.

The following are additional recommendations and best practices:

Irrigation System - If an irrigation system is installed, it is recommended that the builder provides the single-family homebuyer with a record drawing (e.g., schematic) of the system, an itemized list of irrigation components, copies of the irrigation schedules, and information about reprogramming the schedule after establishment of the landscape. This information should be included in the operating manual.

Homeowners need general information about their water-efficient new home, including its unique features and the proper maintenance of its fixtures, settings, and equipment. WaterSense has developed the Homeowner Manual Template for WaterSense Labeled Homes to help builders integrate water efficiency information into the traditional homeowner’s manual that they often provide and that many other green building programs require. This template is included as part of the new homes marketing tools that builders can access when they sign a WaterSense partnership agreement with EPA.

The homeowner operating manual should be designed for ease of use. Where possible, include the names of vendors where the homeowner can purchase replacement parts (e.g., flapper valves for toilets) or contractors to service systems. The manual should be designed for long-term use, since it could change hands as homeownership changes. The manual should still be useful many years after the home has been constructed.

EPA includes a checklist in its manual template so that the builder can conduct a walk-through of the home with the buyer, point out the water-efficient features, and explain the proper operation and maintenance procedures for all of the settings and features installed in the home.

Irrigation System - Providing the single-family homeowner with a schematic of the system is important for conducting system repairs, as well as any future activity that might require excavation. The itemized list will allow homeowners and their irrigation contractors to replace parts as necessary to maintain the performance and efficiency of the system. One of the most important aspects of efficient irrigation is to educate the single-family homeowner on the importance of changing the watering schedule as plants’ water needs change.

These materials should be obtained from the certified irrigation professional and included in the single-family homeowner’s manual.

Application to Existing Homes

The measure described int his guide applies equally well to new and existing homes.

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References and Resources*
Author(s)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Organization(s)
EPA
Publication Date
Description
Brochure providing information for homeowners, builders, verifiers, and facilities including an overview of program criteria, the certification process, and EPA-approved home certification organizations for water-efficient homes under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) WaterSense...
Author(s)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Organization(s)
EPA
Publication Date
Description
Document of requirements including checklist that establishes the criteria for water-efficient homes under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) WaterSense program, Version 2.0.
Author(s)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Organization(s)
EPA
Publication Date
Description
Website providing a description of the WaterSense labeled homes program and a checklist of mandatory requirements for homes to be labeled under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) WaterSense program, Version 2.0.
Author(s)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Organization(s)
EPA
Publication Date
Description
List providing information on all Home Certification Organizations (HCO) and their specific WaterSense Approved Certification Methods (WACMs). HCO specific factsheets: CHEERS, Green Builder Coalition, Home Innovation Research Labs, Home Innovation Research Labs - WRI, RESNET
Author(s)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Organization(s)
EPA
Publication Date
Description
Resource that provides a directory of individuals that have successfully completed all requirements of at least one WaterSense Approved Certification Method (WACM) through a Home Certification Organization (HCO).
Author(s)
EPA
Organization(s)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Publication Date
Description
Resource that provides a directory of individuals that have sucessfully completed all requirements of at least one WaterSense labeled professional certification program.
Author(s)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Organization(s)
EPA
Publication Date
Description
Website providing lists of WaterSense-qualified products for home plumbing and irrigation equipment that meet the requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) WaterSense program.
*For non-dated media, such as websites, the date listed is the date accessed.
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