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Water Consumption
Water Consumption

Planning our water consumption and identifying ways to reduce consumption are obligations we all have for all our sakes.

Changes in behaviour are crucial to ensure the livelihood of future generations. Through small actions we can achieve great results. Hygiene routines account for the largest percentage of our daily water consumption. However, we needn't feel guilty when we turn on a tap.

Visible or placed inside a tap, shower head or at the end of a hose are small components that regulate and restrict the flow rate: these are the aerators and flow regulators.The flow rate of taps and showers depends exclusively on the use of aerators and/or flow regulators. It is therefore not a feature related to the body of the tap or shower head, contrary to what you might think.

These components have several functions:

Emulsify air in water, in order to alter the perception of flow. Although the flow rate is effectively lower, the user retains the feeling of having a high flow rate without splashing.
Restrict the flow rate used by limiting it according to the characteristics of the aerator. We should note that there are aerators where the maximum flow rate is independent of water pressure.
• The function of the aerators is to regulate the stream of water, shaping it or simply making it uniform to reduce splashing.

All these characteristics may or may not be present in the same component.
By changing the aerator it is possible to alter the water consumption by restricting the flow and adding air. The function of emulsifying air in water ensures comfort in use.

Although we can easily change the flow rate of taps and showers, there are a fewtips to keep in mind:

Bath tap: Do not restrict the flow. The main objective is to fill the bath in the shortest possible time, so that the water doesn't cool down.
Hand, ceiling or wall-mounted shower: Restrict the flow rate, ensuring shower comfort/effectiveness, taking into account the size of the shower.
 Washbasin and bidet tap: Restrict flow rate, ensuring comfort/effectiveness of personal hygiene.

Standards

There are European standards on water consumption, but certification is voluntary.

CIFIAL follows the American standardsof compulsory certification, which are more restrictive in terms of flow rate than the current European Standard. In addition, it participates actively and directly in the preparation and approval of the European Standards for Sanitary Taps, through its participation inTechnical Committee CT 117, whose work is based at CATIM - Metal Mechanical Industry Technological Support Centre.

The aerators and flow regulators used in CIFIAL taps and showers are from «Neoperl», the world's largest and most renowned manufacturer of these types of components.

Water Quality: European and American Standards

In water there may be components with no smell, taste or colour, invisible to the consumer, which can not only affect the purity of the water but also harm health.

According to the ICNF (Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests), 82 %of the world's population is exposed to high levels of pollution from water supplies. One of the possible polluting components is lead, which easily contaminates water; for example, through the taps in your home.

All CIFIAL taps comply with European Union standards, even though these are not legally binding, regarding the characteristics of taps (examples: NP EN 200, NP EN 817, NP EN 1111) and the materials used. As far as materials are concerned, we comply with the common approach in force, endorsed by five European countries: France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Denmark.

In fact, as a result of the brand's strong presence in the American market for several decades – note that the White House taps were produced by CIFIAL (discover our 'Edwardian') –, the majority of our taps comply with American standards for the sector. These standards are extremely rigorous and mandatory, unlike those in force in the European Union.

There are three mandatory standards that allow consumers to be sure that washbasin and kitchen taps, through which drinking water is routinely consumed, do not transfer lead or other substances harmful to health.
Furthermore, these standards ensure that their components restrict water consumption.

The NSF/ANSI/CAN 372standard, «Drinking Water System Components – Lead Content», defines the limits of Pb (lead) in components in contact with water. Currently, in the US the limit of Pb (lead) in tap water is 5 mg per litre. It will fall to 1 mg per litre in January 2023 in California. In January 2024, the measure will be extended to the remaining states. CIFIAL has already begun development processes in order to meet this requirement.

More broadly, the NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 standard, «Drinking Water System Components – Health Effects», lays down strict criteria regarding the transfer of substances that may be harmful to drinking water. Equally important is the regulation concerning performance and design for valves and taps.

The ASME A1112.18.1/CSA B125.1standard, «Plumbing supply fittings», which, among other subjects, addresses and regulates the water consumption of taps.

We should note that, in addition to the common water consumption test, CIFIAL has in-house laboratories capable of testing for the entry of harmful substances such as lead into water.

 
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