News Releases from Region 05
EPA Recognizes The Toro Company in Minnesota as a Leader in Reducing Water Waste
For Immediate Release: No. 19-OPA078
MINNEAPOLIS (Oct. 3, 2019) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized The Toro Company in Minn., for taking action to conserve water by producing and promoting the adoption of WaterSense labeled products, homes and programs at the WaterSmart Innovations Conference. Since 2006, over 2,000 EPA WaterSense partners have helped Americans save more than 3.4 trillion gallons of water and $84.2 billion on utility bills by supporting WaterSense and water efficiency.
“Forty states anticipate experiencing fresh water shortages in certain regions within their borders over the next decade,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “These WaterSense award winners are leading the effort to conserve our precious water resources and educate the public on the importance of water conservation.”
“EPA commends The Toro Company for its national leadership and commitment to water conservation and public education”, said Region 5 Administrator Cathy Stepp. “By promoting public awareness and sharing information with customers and developing innovative technology, our industry partners provide critical support to EPA’s efforts to promote water efficiency, both here at home and abroad.”
2019 Sustained Excellence Award Winners
Athens-Clarke County (Ga.) Public Utilities Department received its third Sustained Excellence Award. The county enlisted an “edutainer” to teach water conservation tips to children and used educational activities to promote water conservation at the annual Athens Water Festival.
The City of Charlottesville (Va.) was presented its second Sustained Excellence Award for rebating WaterSense labeled toilets and providing University of Virginia student apartments with WaterSense labeled showerheads and faucet aerators, which will help save an estimated 60 million gallons of water annually.
Citrus County (Fla.) Utilities earned its first Sustained Excellence Award after achieving Partner of the Year for the past three years. The county continued to offer its “Schedule a Specialist” customer service assistance program, which has helped save participants more than 19 million gallons of water.
Cobb County (Ga.) Water System received its third Sustained Excellence Award for creating a new short video series inspired by famous movies and pop culture to promote WaterSense labeled products. The county provided over 1,500 WaterSense labeled toilet rebates and other free WaterSense labeled products.
Metropolitan North Georgia (Ga.) Water Planning District was presented its second Sustained Excellence Award for its My Drop Counts campaign, which included the “Society of Intentionally Dry Lawns” and a pledge for building owners and tenants to reduce water waste. Twelve businesses took the pledge in 2018.
American Standard, part of LIXIL, (N.J.) received its second Sustained Excellence Award for continuing its Beauty in Motion Tour, a “showroom on wheels” that displays several of the company’s WaterSense labeled products. The tour made 101 stops and increased consumer exposure by 91% in 2018.
Delta Faucet Company (Ind.) earned its fifth Sustained Excellence Award. In 2018, all of Delta’s toilets were considered high efficiency and about two-thirds of showering products had earned the WaterSense label. The company hosted an event to promote innovative WaterSense labeled Delta and Brizo brand products to do-it-yourself influencers, who shared their experiences with their social media followers.
Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership (SMSWP) (Calif.) was presented its third Sustained Excellence Award. This professional certifying organization makes its Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) certification accessible to other organizations that can certify professionals in their local area. SMSWP issued 40 new QWEL certificates in 2018, and its partners certified more than 300 professionals.
KB Home (Calif.) received its fifth Sustained Excellence Award for building 134 homes that earned the WaterSense label in 2018. KB Home also installed WaterSense labeled faucets, showerheads, and toilets in more than 11,000 other homes it built in 2018, not just the homes that earned the WaterSense label.
2019 Promotional Partners of the Year
The Broward Water Partnership (Fla.) received its second WaterSense Partner of the Year Award. The collaboration of 18 Broward County utilities created three new animated characters to promote WaterSense and water efficiency on social media: Steph and Steve the Plumbers, and Prince Pre-Rinse, who promotes efficient pre-rinse spray valves in kitchens. The partnership issued 2,655 WaterSense labeled toilet rebates and distributed over 2,700 WaterSense labeled showerheads and aerators in 2018.
The City of Plano (Texas) earned its second WaterSense Partner of the Year Award, after it created a new Water Ambassador Program for adult volunteers to promote leak detection, leak repair, efficient irrigation and landscaping principles. The city also hosted three do-it-yourself classes for Sprinkler Spruce-Up and has a Green Business Certification Program, which certified six new businesses in 2018 (bringing the total to 43).
Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District (Calif.) was presented its first WaterSense Partner of the Year Award for collaborating with other WaterSense partners on events and programs and encouraging all 27 of its water purveyors to become WaterSense partners. In 2018, the district hosted nine workshops covering efficient landscaping, smart outdoor water use, and leak detection and repair, including Fix a Leak Week workshops in both English and Mandarin.
- Alliance for Water Efficiency and San Antonio Water System (Texas) for Excellence in Strategic Collaboration.
- San Diego County Water Authority (Calif.) for Excellence in Certification Program Growth.
- City of Allen (Texas), City Durham Water Management (N.C.), City of Frisco (Texas), Irvine Ranch Water District (Calif.), Polk County Utilities (Fla.), City of Sacramento Department of Utilities (Calif.), and Sonoma Marvin Saving Water Partnership (Calif.) for Excellence in Education and Outreach.
- Hunter Industries (Calif.) and The Toro Company (Minn.) for Excellence in Education and Public Relations.
- Niagara Conservation (Texas) for Excellence in Labeled Products in the Marketplace.
WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by EPA, seeks to protect the future of the nation’s water supply by offering Americans a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products, homes and services. WaterSense labeled products, which are independently certified to use at least 20% less water and perform as well or better than standard models, have been on the market since 2007. Today there are more than 30,000 labeled models, including products used in residential and commercial bathrooms, commercial kitchens and outdoor irrigation. EPA’s WaterSense program certifies homes with WaterSense labeled fixtures and features. To date, more than 2,000 homes have earned the label.
Learn more about the 2019 WaterSense Award winners at https://19january2021snapshot.epa.gov/watersense/watersense-awards.