South Korea Korea mandates grade labeling for water saving equipment

Amends subordinate laws of Water Supply Act

Korea mandates grade labeling for water saving equipment

On February 17, the Ministry of Environment of South Korea published amended versions of the Presidential Decree and Enforcement Regulations of Water Supply Act and announced that water saving equipment will be required to display a label indicating water saving grade. The amendment makes it mandatory for manufactures and importers of water saving equipment to display such labels on their water saving equipment from February 18, 2022. According to Appendix 1 of the Enforcement Regulations, water saving equipment is defined as “faucets or toilets that are produced to save water compared to ordinary products without attaching additional accessories or devices.” The amendment to the Presidential Decree Order and Enforcement Regulation is based on the amended Water Supply Act published on August 17, 2021.

 

Obligation to display water saving grade for water saving equipment

Effective date: February 18, 2022
Applicable facilities: The following facilities designated in Article 15, Paragraphs 1-3 of the Water Supply Act shall be equipped with water saving equipment and devices.

  1. Buildings designated in accordance with Article 2, Paragraph 1, Item 2 of Construction Act, or facilities designated by local government ordinances
  2. Hotel businesses (excluding those with 10 rooms or less) and sauna businesses designated in accordance with Public Health Management Act, and sports facilities designated in accordance with Act on Establishment and Use of Sports Facilities
  3. Public toilets designated in accordance with Public Toilets, etc. Act

Main amendments:

  • Manufacturers and importers of water saving equipment shall have their water saving equipment inspected by an organization specified in the Water Supply Act and shall indicate the water saving grade on the equipment (Article 15 of the Act).
  • The criteria of water saving grades for water saving facilities shall be stipulated as follows. Toilet bowls and urinals are classified into three grades and faucets are classified into two grades (note that there is only one grade for shower faucets) (Appendix 2-5 of the Enforcement Regulations).
Types Standard for measurement Grade 1 Grade 2 Grade 3
Toilet bowls Amount of water used per flush 4L or less 5L or less 6L or less
Toilet bowls with adjustable water flow Average of water used per flush 4L or less 5L or less 6L or less
Urinals Amount of water used per flush 0.6L or less 1L or less 2L or less
Faucets Quantity poured out for 1 minute 5L or less 6L or less

*A single standard which classifies 7.5L or less as excellent grade is applied to shower faucets.

*Refer to Appendix 1 of the Enforcement Regulation for types and standards of water saving equipment and devices.

 

The water saving grade labels must include the water saving grade, amount of water used, company name, model name, and inspection agency as shown in the examples below. In principle, the labels must be affixed to the surface of the water saving equipment (Appendix 2-5 of the Enforcement Regulation).

Example of a label for toilet bowls (Grade 1) Example of a label for faucets (Grade 1) Example of a label for shower faucet  (Excellent grade)

 

The fine shall be stipulated as follows (Appendix 5 of the Presidential Decree)

  • If the water saving grade is not indicated or false information is indicated, a fine will be imposed according to the number of times the violations occurred: 3 million KRW for the first violation, 4 million KRW for the second violation, and 5 million KRW for the third and subsequent violations.
  • If water saving equipment is not installed, a fine will be imposed according to the number of times the violations occurred: 5 million KRW for the first violation, 6 million KRW for the second violation, and 10 million KRW for the third and subsequent violations.

 

The Ministry of Environment explained that if approximately 23 million existing toilet bowls are replaced with the grade 1 toilet bowls (using 4L or less water per flush), approximately 150 million tons of tap water will be saved annually. The ministry also mentioned that the energy used to produce tap water will also be saved, thus reducing carbon emissions by approximately 13,700 tons per year. The Ministry stated that it plans to promote the use of water saving equipment with excellent performance through this scheme.

 

The press release from the Ministry of Environment on this issue can be viewed at the following URL.
http://me.go.kr/home/web/board/read.do?pagerOffset=20&maxPageItems=10&maxIndexPages=10&searchKey=&searchValue=&menuId=10525&orgCd=&boardId=1508940&boardMasterId=1&boardCategoryId=&decorator=