The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized City of Round Rock with a 2022 WaterSense Partner of the Year Award for helping people save water.
In recognition of their commitment to promoting WaterSense and water efficiency in 2021, City of Round Rock was honored during the WaterSmart Innovations (WSI) Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas, along with along with 33 other awardees – utilities, manufacturers, builders, retailers and other organizations that partner with WaterSense to promote water-efficient products, homes and programs.
WaterSense, a voluntary partnership program sponsored by EPA, is both a label for water-efficient products, programs, and homes and a resource for helping consumers learn ways to save water. Since 2006, more than 2,100 WaterSense partners and over 40,000 models of certified water-efficient plumbing and irrigation products have helped consumers and businesses save 6.4 trillion gallons of water—enough water to supply all households in the United States with water for eight months. In addition to water savings, WaterSense has helped reduce the amount of energy needed to pump, treat, and heat water by 754 billion kilowatt hours and helped consumers save $135 billion in water and energy bills. These savings also helped prevent 288 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, which is equivalent to planting 4.8 billion trees!
“Throughout 2021, our award-winning partners helped people protect this precious resource by promoting WaterSense labeled products and water-efficient behaviors,” said Veronica Blette, Chief, WaterSense Branch. “Saving water is particularly critical in areas impacted by drought but is also a path to helping consumers stretch dollars by reducing their water and energy bills.”
WaterSense honored City of Round Rock as a 2022 Partner of the Year for ramping up its promotion of WaterSense 2021, earning its first Partner of the Year award. The City focused on reducing residents’ outdoor water use and built off Smart Irrigation Month with free irrigation check-ups for homeowners. They also held free weekly workshops to educate residents on ways to maximize efficiency of their irrigation systems and make simple repairs. To promote WaterSense labeled irrigation products, the City offers incentives for residents who purchase and install WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers and spray sprinkler bodies. The City also conducted research on the effects of WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers installed at residents’ homes. The study found that most had reduced water use amounting to an average savings of 58 percent! After completing the study, the City physically checked every new applicant’s controller settings and corrected controllers that weren’t set up properly, to ensure they watered efficiently.
The City also encouraged the use of indoor WaterSense labeled fixtures through its new Your Better Bathroom rebate program, which provided incentives for over 200 WaterSense labeled toilets, over 50 WaterSense labeled showerheads, and over 90 WaterSense labeled bathroom faucets in 2021. The installation of these fixtures saved Round Rock residents an estimated 2.9 million gallons of water in 2021 alone! To promote fixing leaks and saving water among do-it-yourselfers, the City also developed a toolkit that included WaterSense labeled showerheads, WaterSense labeled faucet aerators, dye tablets, a toilet flapper, plumbers tape, a drip gauge, and the Alliance for Water Efficiency’s Plumber Guidebook.
New for 2021, the City mailed thousands of WaterSense welcome postcards to new residential water customers. The postcard was customized to include a QR code to go to the City’s main water conservation webpage where customers can find information on WaterSense.
Michael Thane, Round Rock’s Utilities and Environmental Services Director says “the City of Round Rock has experienced tremendous growth over the past 25 years that has placed significant pressure on our water system. Due to this increase in new connections, the importance of our Water Conservation Program has never been more important to ensure that we reduce our water demand and prolong our water supply sources. These efforts along with many other water conservation initiatives have definitely made a difference in our City as our gallons per capita per day have continued to decline year after year.”
For more information about WaterSense, visit epa.gov/watersense.
For more information about the City of Round Rock’s Water Conservation program, visit roundrocktexas.gov/waterconservation.