Toilet rebate in Little Spokane River watershed

Water-saving rebates available

Rebates up to $300 are available for residents of the Little Spokane River watershed who install water-saving washing machines and toilets.

The offer covers two toilets certified by the WaterSense label and an Energy Star-certified washer, each for $100. However, the toilet rebate is available only for homes built in 1994 or earlier.

Homes built after 1994 were required to have water-saving toilets.

About 8,000 households are eligible for the rebates, offered by a coalition of governments dubbed the Little Spokane WaterSmart Alliance.The coalition includes the state Department of Ecology, which put up $50,000 for the rebates.

Communities in the watershed include Diamond Lake, Elk, Chattaroy, Camden, Colbert, Deer Park, Sacheen Lake, Riverside, Eloika Lake, Fan Lake, Clayton and Denison.

For more information, call (509) 477-7678 in Spokane and Stevens counties and (509) 447-6454 in Pend Oreille County, or visit www.littlespokanewatersmart.org.

 

Advertisements

Lack of money for rebates halts Inland distribution of water-saving toilets

Source http://www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE_News_Local_S_toilets02.48120c7.html

By LAURIE LUCAS
The Press-Enterprise

 
Western Municipal Water District’s participation in a program that this week will finish delivering 1,500 water-saving toilets at no cost to Riverside County homes, hotels and commercial buildings is in limbo because of doubt about whether Western will receive promised rebates.

In the past three months, the Mission Inn, UC Riverside and March Air Reserve Base received a total of 1,000 of the toilets, and 500 went to Corona, mostly to multifamily residences such as apartments.

One low-flow toilet will save about 2 gallons per flush or 4,800 gallons a year, according to Clay Monroe, water conservation coordinator with Riverside Public Utilities.

But the program was suspended because of the uncertainty of reimbursement from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, said Tim Barr. He’s the water use efficiency manager for Western, which covers 527 square miles serving 853,000 people in the Jurupa Valley, Corona, Norco, Riverside, Moreno Valley, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake and Temecula. Besides Riverside, the city of Corona also worked closely with Barr to promote the project.

Metropolitan’s blanket program, “SoCal Water$mart” was designed as a conservation incentive for the 26 cities and agencies that buy its water in six counties for 19 million people. Rebates on high-efficiency toilets and other equipment had been available to residents of areas that receive MWD water, including Eastern and Western municipal water districts in Riverside County and Inland Empire Utilities Agency in western San Bernardino County.

Barr said Western drew up its own marketing campaign touting low-flow toilets.

Story continues below
William Wilson Lewis III / The Press-Enterprise
Michael Franchek, vice president of sales and marketing with Ecogreen Services, removes a 3.5-gallon toilet from an apartment in Riverside.

8,000 INSTALLED

Eastern installed 8,000 of the low-flow toilets this last fiscal year. The agency has shelved requests for another 1,500 until Metropolitan resolves its budget problems. Perris-based Eastern serves an area from Moreno Valley south to Temecula and east to Hemet and San Jacinto.

The Inland Empire Utilities Agency installed 4,256 low-flow toilets this last fiscal year. Chino-based Inland serves the cities of Chino, Chino Hills, Fontana, Montclair, Ontario, and Upland as well as the Cucamonga Valley and Monte Vista Water Districts and the Water Facilities Authority.

Initially, Metropolitan agreed to pitch in anywhere from $50 to $100 per toilet; Western would pick up the rest of the cost from its rate payers. But because Metropolitan didn’t have the money to cover the overwhelming demand for rebates, Western could be on the hook for anywhere from $65 to $110 per toilet, Barr said. “So Metropolitan is suspending its commercial program from three to six months until after an audit and they figure out how to go forward,” Barr said.

Story continues below
Low-flow toilets save about 2 gallons per flush, or 4,800 gallons a year, conservation experts say.

MWD’s regional rebate program is $24 million in the hole. The program started with $20 million, which doubled last February. Those resources dried up in May and the board turned off the spending tap until an audit is complete. A report is expected at the next board meeting, July 14.

The San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District, the regional equivalent of Metropolitan, serving 700,000 water users over 350 square miles, might offer a similar water conservation program, according to Douglass Headrick, deputy general manager. “We’re watching to see how this will play out with Metropolitan,” he said.

PROGRAM WINDS DOWN

Meanwhile, Western’s program is winding down this week with toilet installations concluding in the Sandra Apartments on 7th Street in Riverside, said contractor Michael Franchek.

His Encinitas-based company, Ecogreen Services, contracted with Western Municipal in April to install 1,500 toilets at $165 apiece. Since April, Franchek has placed 80 percent of the new toilets in multi-family residences and the rest in hotels and commercial buildings.

Low-flow toilets look no different from their predecessors and cost about the same, according to Franchek.

“They flow a lot less because of their intelligent design,” he said.

The old fixtures use 3.5 gallons per flush while their replacements use less than 1.3 gallons per flush. Recyclers grind up the put-out-to-pasture toilets which are used as construction aggregate.

Russ Kitchen, director of the Mission Inn’s property operations, said he’s pleased with the 80 new low-flows, the latest in the hotel’s efforts to go green.

“We’re always looking for ways to conserve our natural resources,” he said. Management has retrofitted its cooling center to use less energy and replaced most lighting with fluorescent bulbs.

Reach Laurie Lucas at 951-368-9569 or llucas@PE.com

TO SAVE WATER

Take shorter showers

Turn off the faucet when brushing teeth

Water your lawn only when it needs it

Use a broom to clean driveways and sidewalks

Adjust sprinklers so they don’t water driveways and sidewalks

Wash only full loads of laundry

Run dishwasher only when full

Fix leaky faucets and toilets

Use a shut-off nozzle on your hose

Plant drought-resistant trees and plants

Source: Western Municipal Water District

 

 

Toilet Rebate Programs in the US

More and more cities and municipalities are offering a rebate for the replacement of old, inefficient toilets with Low Flow or High Efficiency Toilets (HET) using 1.6 gallons or less per flush. I compiled this list to make it easier for you to find out if your city, county or water authority is participating in a rebate program. Please note that links to most authorities are included. I will try to keep adding more as they become available. If you know about programs I have not listed, please comment so I can add them.

Arizona

 California

 Colorado

 Florida

 Georgia

Hawaii

Massachusetts

Minnesota

 

Missouri

New Mexico

 

North Carolina

 Oregon 

 South Dakota

 Texas

 Virginia

 Washington

Wisconsin