A majority of readers believe water conservation will be more important to their customers in the next two years.

A majority of readers of Plumbing & Mechanical and Environmental Design+Construction believe water conservation will be more important to their customers in the next two years, according to a survey each magazine conducted last year.

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

Readers of both magazines certainly have their work cut out since many said their clients need to learn more about water-conserving products. PM readers said 51 percent of commercial/institutional building owners/managers were “not very knowledgeable” about water-saving products; 70 percent of ED+C readers put these same people in a low category.

There's also room for improvement for qualifying projects for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, or LEED, points. Thirty-four percent of ED+C readers indicated a “seldom but growing” amount of times either they or their commercial/institutional clients included water-conserving products to qualify for LEED points vs. the 19 percent that indicated “never.” Meanwhile, 37 percent of PM readers said “never” to the same question vs. 16 percent that said “seldom but growing.”

ED+C readers clearly believe, however, that the LEED concept will play a bigger role in the future.

Here are some survey highlights of what ED+C readers had to say:

How actively is your firm currently pursuing LEED points?

In the next two years, how actively do you think your firm will pursue LEED points?

What percentage of your current projects feature “green” design specifications?

Two years from now, what percentage of your projects will feature “green” specifications?

Here are some survey highlights of what PM readers had to say regarding water-saving plumbing products:


  • 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 And Faucets

  • In general, contractors said that six out of 10 commercial customers were unaware of the 2.5-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.

    Top Five Reasons For Choosing A Water Closet

      Flushing Performance
      Drain Line Carry
      Brand Reputation
    Top Five Frequent Complaints About 1.6-gpf Gravity Water Closets
      Toilet Stoppages
      Drain Line Clogs
      Skid Marks
    Copies of either the separate PM or ED+C survey can be purchased for $195; copies of both surveys can be purchased for $295. For more information, contact Lisa Frost at 248/244-1290 or frostl@bnpmedia.com.