WEP is a Water Efficiency Plan that many builders are now incorporating into their home building and landscape design. The program-specific WEP homes have been outfitted with water efficient products that meet or exceed identified water efficiency requirements. These products include high-efficiency toilets, kitchen faucets, bathroom faucets, showerheads and dishwashers. All landscaping design utilizes low-water-use materials including approved plant material and high-efficiency irrigation equipment.
Each WEP home has been assigned a WEP water rate structure and has a fixed water budget tied to the home. Removing and replacing water efficient plumbing fixtures or adding or changing landscape originally installed by the builder, may increase water billing. Overwatering or not properly managing irrigation can also increase water billing.
Each neighborhood has a Homeowner’s Education Packet to inform the homeowner about the water efficient products and fixtures unique to that home. A placard at the home should identify WEP homes and inquiries can be made at Castle Rock Water, 720-733-6000.
Modern water efficiency standards
WEP homes have a specific plan with approved fixtures and landscaping with a rate structure approved by Castle Rock Water. However, most modern buildings in Colorado do have water efficient fixtures. The WaterSense bill went into effect in Colorado in 2016 and requires plumbing fixtures sold in Colorado to be WaterSense labeled. In order to meet WaterSense requirements and receive the label, they must be at least 20 percent more efficient than other similar products available.
The Energy Policy Act of 1992 contained the first national standards requiring water efficiency and homes built since then should have water efficient fixtures and appliances. However, technology continues to increase efficiency without compromising performance.
With the use of efficient plumbing, water usage across the nation has dropped dramatically. Some reports (NRCD.org) cite a typical single-family household in 2008 used 32 fewer gallons of water every day than an identical household in 1978, primarily due to water efficient plumbing products.