Environmental Protection

EPA Webinar to Discuss Pre-rinse Spray Valve Research Scope

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will hold a Webinar meeting from 1 to 3 p.m. EDT on Sept. 30 to discuss the pre-rinse spray valves research study scope and next steps in the high-efficiency pre-rinse spray valves specification development process.

To register, visit www2.gotomeeting.com/register/610492051.

In typical commercial food operations, dishwashing consumes nearly two-thirds of all the water used—nearly half of which is hot water used by the pre-rinse spray valve to remove food waste from dishes prior to dishwashing. Up to 50 percent of the estimated 1.35 million pre-rinse spray valves currently in use have flow rates as high as 3 to 4 gallons per minute (gpm)—more than double the federal standard of 1.6 gpm. Considerable progress has been made, however, to develop pre-rinse spray valves that use significantly less water than the federal requirement, and, since pre-rinse spray valves use hot water, this reduced water use can also lead to significant energy savings.

EPA’s WaterSense and Energy Star® programs are teaming up to develop a specification for high-efficiency pre-rinse spray valves. The agency wants to capitalize on the water and energy savings opportunity, improve and promote the use of more efficient pre-rinse spray valves, and help commercial and institutional kitchen, restaurant, and grocery managers make informed purchasing decisions to reduce their water and energy use, without sacrificing performance.

As a first step, EPA has issued a notification of intent (NOI) to develop a specification for high-efficiency pre-rinse spray valves. This NOI outlines EPA's approach to developing the draft specification, the efficiency and performance criteria EPA is working to define, and the technical issues that still need to be resolved related to these products.

Specifying pre-rinse spray valve performance is critical to ensuring long-term water and energy savings, but to date their field usage time and corresponding user satisfaction is largely undefined. EPA is seeking to collaborate with industry, utilities, and water- and energy-efficiency experts to gather field research data prior to issuing a draft specification for this product category. EPA has developed a detailed research study scope to assist with this data collection and evaluation.

For questions, contact watersense-products@erg.com.

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