More than 60 percent of contractors believe that water conservation will be more important to their customers in the next two years, according to a PM survey.

In addition to a look at the future, half of the respondents said their home states had already experienced drought conditions in the past 24 months severe enough to warrant water use restrictions, as well as offer rebates and other financial incentives to install various water-saving plumbing products in homes and businesses.

The survey, which was done with PM’s sister publication, Environmental Design + Construction, will be further discussed next month as part of the educational program presented at ISH North America.

“Emerging Trends In Water Conservation Design,” Oct. 2, from 9-10:30 a.m. will feature a panel of manufacturers who will discuss trends in water conservation plumbing products and their role in today’s plumbing systems.

The panel includes Paul DeBoo, sales and marketing manager for Sloan Flushmate, Franklin Park, Ill.; Daniel Gleiberman, director of government affairs for Falcon Waterfree Technologies, Los Angeles; and Nancy Mayo, assistant national accounts manager, TOTO USA Inc., Morrow, Ga. Steve Smith, editor of Plumbing & Mechanical, will moderate the discussion. Everyone attending the discussion will receive a free copy of the full water conservation survey.

The survey asked contractors a number of questions regarding water-saving toilets, showerheads, faucets, waterless urinals and sensor-activated products. Here are just some of the highlights:


  • 61 percent always recommended water closets by a specific manufacturer and model based on known flushing performance.

  • 88 percent either said that 1.6-gpf water closets on the market today perform “far better” (48 percent) or “slightly better” (40 percent) than the 1.6-gpf models that first came on the market.

  • 25 percent said they “always” recommended pressure-assisted or flush-o-meter-type water closets for public facilities while 43 percent said they “sometimes” made this recommendation.

Showerheads & Faucets

  • In general, contractors said that six out of 10 commercial customers were unaware of 0.5-gpm flow rate requirement for showerheads or the 0.5-gpm flow rate requirement for public lavatory faucets.

  • More than half indicated that plumbing inspectors were “rarely” or “never” vigilant in enforcing these requirements.


  • 60 percent were unfamiliar with urinals that do not require water to operate.

Sensor-Activated Products

  • 28 percent strongly agreed that their customers perceive a large hygiene benefit for sensor-activated flush valves and faucets.

  • 16 percent strongly agreed, however, that their customers perceive a large maintenance increase by using sensor-activated flush valves and faucets.

The PM survey was sent to 1,000 readers last spring. We received a 25 percent response rate from the survey, and almost 100 percent of all respondents indicated that they were responsible for specifying, recommending and installing water-saving plumbing products. The survey was also mailed to a separate subscriber list of ED+C. The survey results mentioned in this article are just from the PM results.

Sidebar: Top Five States For Water-Saving Products



New Jersey



Source: PM Water Conservation Survey, July 2003

Sidebar: Top Five Reasons For Choosing A Water Closet

Flushing Performance

Drain Line Carry

Brand Reputation



Source: PM Water Conservation Survey, July 2003