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EPA Recognizes Cobb County Water System in Georgia as Water Efficiency Leader

Release Date: 10/08/2009
Contact Information: Davina Marraccini, (404) 562-8293, marraccini.davina@epa.gov

(ATLANTA – Oct. 8, 2009) More than 1,000 WaterSense partners helped Americans save 9.3 billion gallons of water in 2008. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) named five of them, including the Cobb County Water System in Georgia, as the 2009 WaterSense Partners of the Year.

“Our partners have demonstrated how collaboration and commitment to water efficiency can result in major savings for Americans,” said Peter S. Silva, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Water.
“By working together to promote WaterSense labeled products and other water-efficient behaviors, they are helping Americans save tremendously on water, energy and money on their utility bills.”

The Cobb County Water System worked with Kohler, Lowe’s and other WaterSense partners to promote the state of Georgia’s first sales tax holiday in October 2008 for WaterSense-labeled products. During that time, Cobb County saw a 400 percent increase in WaterSense-labeled toilet purchases.

Cobb County has also encouraged its customers to give WaterSense labeled toilets a try, and the utility created a toilet rebate program with the potential to save 13 million gallons of water annually. That is enough water to fill the Georgia Aquarium—the world’s largest—1.5 times. In 2008, Cobb County rebated more than 1,650 WaterSense-labeled toilets, at $100 per toilet. The program’s success inspired many surrounding utilities to adopt the rebate model.

Through these collaborations and hundreds of speaking engagements during the drought, Cobb County helped persuade consumers to look for the WaterSense label and think twice about water-efficiency, both inside the home and out. Cobb County advised its customers to hire WaterSense irrigation partners, and worked with Atlanta and Fulton County to bring all of the GreenPlumbers USA classes to Georgia. More than 140 plumbers learned about WaterSense and WaterSense-labeled products.

Besides the Cobb County Water System, the following utility, manufacturer, retailer and individual were also recognized for their extraordinary efforts promoting WaterSense in 2008:

• Promotional Partners of the Year: James City Service Authority in Virginia (Small Utility)
• Manufacturer Partner of the Year: Kohler Co.
• Retailer Partner of the Year: Lowe’s Companies, Inc.
• Irrigation Partner of the Year: Brian Vinchesi of Pepperell, Massachusetts

More information on WaterSense Partner of the Year award winners: http://www.epa.gov/watersense