Office of General Services

New York State Office of General Services

Approved EO4 Specifications



To reduce the amount of water used per minute of shower time without depleting the comfort and effectiveness of the water flow.


The use of low flow showerheads minimizes the amount of potable water used which helps conserve water. A very small percentage of the total water on the planet is suitable for human consumption. The Energy Policy Act of 1992 mandated the use of water-conserving plumbing fixtures to reduce water use in residential, commercial, and institutional buildings. WaterSense® certified showerheads are more efficient than the federal requirements. Using water efficiently can reduce costs through lower water use fees, lower sewage volumes to treat (with associated chemicals), and lower capacity charges. Of course, energy is also saved by heating less water. Switching to low flow showerheads can save 20-40% of the water used for showering.


gpm is gallons per minute.

Low flow showerheads certified by WaterSense are showerheads that flow 2.0 gpm (gallons per minute) or less. Current technology has allowed manufacturers to design showerheads with good cleansing capability using flows as low as 1.5 gpm.

Standard showerheads meeting the International Plumbing Code (IPC), which governs New York State work, are allowed a maximum psi of 80 and a maximum flow of 2.5 gpm.

Potable water is water which is suitable for human consumption.

ADA is the Americans with Disabilities Act. Compliance with the act requires conformance to International Code Council (ICC) Standard A117.1, Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities.

Showerhead includes both fixed and hand-held showerheads. Fixed showerheads direct water onto a user for bathing purposes and hand-held showers are moveable devices for directing water onto a user.

Standard Setting and Certifying Programs

Various national and international standards apply to low flow showerheads. They are defined here as a guide.

LEED or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies intended to improve performance in metrics such as energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

WaterSense® is a partnership program sponsored by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. WaterSense provides water efficiency and performance criteria for products and helps consumers identify water-efficient products and programs that meet WaterSense® criteria. For additional information on WaterSense®, visit the website at


In addition to meeting all federal and state laws, codes, rules and regulations, any installation of new showerheads shall provide the following:

Affected entities are encouraged to:


Packaging shall comply with Environmental Conservation Law section 37-0205. Packaging shall not contain inks, dyes, pigments, adhesives, stabilizers, or any other additives to which any lead, cadmium, mercury or hexavalent chromium is intentionally added or contain incidental concentrations of lead, cadmium, mercury or hexavalent chromium which together are greater than 100 parts per million by weight (0.01%).

New York State encourages affected entities to adopt the following: