Jin Luo - Executive Vice President of Laboratory Recognition & Asia Pacific Operations

IAPMO R&T’s certification business had another busy, successful and record-setting year. It’s no secret that this was because of the hard work of our dedicated staff members, who are always ready to assist manufacturers with their certification needs. We instill in our staff the importance of teamwork and customer service, which I believe is directly connected to the success we have enjoyed for many years. Thank you to our staff for their dedication to their work and to our loyal customers who continue to trust IAPMO with their certification.

I would like to discuss the importance of our work in plumbing to conserve water in our community and the world.

Many people do not realize the concept of water conservation has been recognized in the United States since the 1950s. In fact, the Water Resources Policy Commission published “A Water Policy for the American People” in December 1950. The following is an excerpt from this book:

“We can no longer be wasteful and careless in our attitude toward our water resources. Not only in the West, where the crucial value of water has long been recognized, but in every part of the country, we must manage and conserve water if we are to make the best use of it for future development.”

This is clearly evidence of our early recognition that water is an important resource that shall be managed well and conserved, but it has only been in the last couple of decades that the U.S. government has taken a more active role in encouraging the use of water-saving technology. And, as many people in our industry know, IAPMO has always been among the industry leaders that encourage water conservation technology development and applications.

Therefore, it is not a surprise that we at IAPMO R&T — the leading third-party plumbing product certifier in North America — devote resources to monitor any water conservation-related requirements to ensure that manufacturers are kept up to date with their continual evolution.

One of the water conservation programs that I would like to highlight is EPA WaterSense®. WaterSense is a voluntary partnership and labeling program launched by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in 2006 designed to reduce municipal water use across the country. Using the WaterSense label, consumers can easily identify products that are 20 percent more water-efficient and yet perform as well as or better than standard models. To obtain this label, such products shall be tested for efficiency and performance to the current WaterSense specifications and certified by a third-party licensed certifying body, such as IAPMO R&T. To date, there are eight WaterSense product specifications released by the U.S. EPA, with more to come. This table provides a summary of those specifications along with the water consumption requirements:

WaterSense® Specifications Water Consumption
High Efficiency Toilet < = 1.28 gpf
High Efficiency Lavatory Faucets 1.5 gpm max, 0.8 gpm min.
High Efficiency Urinals < = 0.5 gpf
Showerhead < = 2.0 gpm
Commercial Pre-Rinse Spray Valves < = 1.28 gpm
Weather-based Irrigation Controllers N/A (NOTE: Conformance with this WaterSense specification is an indication that the controller has the capacity to modify or generate appropriate irrigation schedules based on weather inputs.)
Flushometer-Valve Toilet 1.28 gpf max, 1.0 gpf min.
Spray Sprinkler Bodies N/A (NOTE: Conformance with this WaterSense specification is an indication that the sprinkler’s body has the ability to provide pressure regulation and maintain consistent flow at all tested pressure level.)

Did you know the following facts?
• Less than 1 percent of water on Earth is available for human use. The rest is either salt water found in oceans, fresh water frozen in the polar ice caps, or too inaccessible for practical usage.
• Each American uses an average of 88 gallons of water a day at home.
• The average family can save 13,000 gallons of water and $130 in water costs per year by replacing all old, inefficient toilets in their home with WaterSense-labeled models.
• Replacing old, inefficient bathroom faucets and aerators with WaterSense-labeled models can save the average family $250 in water and electricity costs over the faucets’ lifetime.
• Replacing showerheads with WaterSense-labeled models can reduce the average family’s water and electricity costs by $70 and can save the average family more than 2,700 gallons of water per year, equal to the amount of water needed to wash 88 loads of laundry.
• Replacing a standard clock timer with a WaterSense-labeled irrigation controller can reduce an average home’s irrigation water use by 15 percent and can save an average home nearly 7,600 gallons of water annually.
• There are more than 24,000 WaterSense-labeled product models in the market place.
• EPA WaterSense has saved more than 2.7 trillion gallons of water since 2006.
• WaterSense partners have helped consumers save more than $43.6 billion in water and energy bills.

These facts are quite fascinating and impressive. Because of the success and significant impact that the WaterSense program is making in water conservation, many jurisdictions across the country took notice and adopted WaterSense specifications — making them mandatory. Several of those jurisdictions are New York City and the states of Georgia and Colorado.

Who would have thought that our work in plumbing would make such an impact to our community and the world? We all should be proud of the contribution that we make in promoting water-saving technology. I like to think of the overall plumbing industry as unsung superheroes who keep people safe and protect the environment every single day through water-saving technology. We hope that by supporting water conservation programs, such as WaterSense®, we will continue to make a positive difference for the world every single day.

To learn more on how you can obtain certification to EPA WaterSense®, please send us an e-mail at info@iapmort.org.

Jin Luo
Executive Vice President
  of Laboratory Recognition
  & Asia Pacific Operations


Ohannes Dembekjian - Executive Vice President of Continuous Compliance

As we prepare to bring 2018 to an end, IAPMO R&T’s Continuous Compliance department celebrates and reflects on the challenges and accomplishments this year has presented. It is with great satisfaction that I announce another successful year! We owe this success to the incredible Continuous Compliance team, both in the field and at IAPMO World Headquarters; the excellence for which they strive is the bench mark of what sets IAPMO R&T apart.

As the department that provides ISO 17020 compliant inspection services to all IAPMO certification business units, there were many challenges to overcome; the increasing growth of services provided, the complexities of each program, the continued growth of individual business units, the demand for inspectors in new geographic areas and, the need for highly trained and knowledgeable inspectors who can provide outstanding customer service.

To address these changing factors, the Continuous Compliance department implemented several important changes to our annual activities. One important change made this is year was to hold, for the first time, a three-day Inspector Training Seminar. This seminar is a critical aspect of our annual training activities; it is a meeting where all inspectors from around the world are brought to WHQ for an intensive training session of all our certification programs. Attendees also receive refresher training on policies and procedures, and undergo interactive activities designed to create a platform for younger inspectors to learn from the more experienced staff. This even has proven to be an invaluable resource, and having it grow from two days to three represents our continuous commitment to having the most knowledgeable staff in the business.

The increased growth also presented the challenge of ensuring our inspectors had the necessary tools to access the information they need to effectively and efficiently perform their duties. With this in mind, the Continuous Compliance department, with the assistance of the Information Technology team, began a project to revamp our database system by implementing MyPLC. MyPLC is a database that will link all certification and inspection activities in one system, designed to efficiently streamline the product certification information and connect inspectors with real time data. This system will bring, for the first time, new tools and technology that will streamline the planning, scheduling, and implementation of inspections, and also will provide direct feedback to its users. It is an exciting change, and the first exposure to this software was presented to our team of inspectors during this years’ Annual Inspector Seminar for the purpose of receiving their valuable feedback. This feedback will be incorporated in the design of features that will continue to be created.

This year, we also saw an increase in requests for product verification from the U. S. Customs and Border Protection due to recent antidumping laws. This has highlighted the importance of maintaining a robust product monitoring scheme built in into our product certification structure. As we have done in the past, the Continuous Compliance department continued to monitor the compliance of certified products to ensure that, even after its initial certification, the products continue to comply with their relevant codes and standards. We achieve this by conducting surveillance inspections and randomly selecting hundreds of certified products from manufacturing sites, warehouse locations and/or from the market for retesting. To ensure the quality of results, these products are retested at IAPMO recognized laboratories, which have gone to through a rigorous auditing process. This effectively allows us to maintain the highest level of trust and credibility in the IAPMO R&T certification marks.

As we look into next year, with the experience and knowledge gained from this year and years past, we are confident we will continue to excel and most importantly, continue to maintain the excellent customer service that our clients expect and deserve. We thank you for your continued support and we appreciate your business.

Ohannes Dembekjian
Executive Vice President
  of Continuous

For more information on having plumbing and mechanical products certified, please call (877) 4-UPC-MARK.