Install water-efficient fixtures and appliances
Owners of buildings served by utilities in the Saving Water Partnership can lower their water, sewer and energy bills by installing efficient fixtures and appliances. Newer, efficient toilet models can reduce your water use by 30-40%, and sometimes more.
Replace old toilets
Older toilets can use 3.5 gallons per flush or more and some early low-flow toilets can require two flushes to clear the bowl. Rebates are available to replace toilets installed before 2004 with the most efficient models.
Look for WaterSense
WaterSense-labeled clothes washers, dishwashers, faucets, and showerheads meet efficiency and performance standards.
See how businesses saved money and water by replacing their old fixtures with new, efficient ones.
Resources to help residents report leaks
Leaks account for 12% of indoor water use.
In apartment buildings, make sure tenants know how to report a leak and that it is their responsibility to do so. Post signs or include information in newsletters about how tenants can report maintenance issues.
For condos, provide residents with information about how much water leaks can waste and let them know that there are rebates available to replace old toilets.
Elevator or bulletin board posters:
- “Report Leaks” for Apartments 8.5×11” (pdf)
- “Report Leaks” for Apartments 11×17” (pdf)
- “Find & Fix Leaks” for Condos 8.5×11” (pdf)
- “Find & Fix Leaks” for Condos 11×17” (pdf)
- How to Detect and Report Leaks for Apartments (doc)
- How to Detect and Report Leaks and Toilet Rebates for Condos (doc)
How to monitor your utility bills for leaks
Burst pipes usually have obvious signs like water damage, a soggy area in the lawn, or a large spike in water consumption on your water bill. However, small leaks that add up slowly can be easy to miss -especially if your units do not have water submeters or the submeters are not monitored.
Calculate the “gallons per person per day” for your building using a recent water bill to find hidden leaks. Use a winter bill if your irrigation is not separately metered.
- Find the total gallons on your bill (you may need to convert CCF to gallons, 1 CCF = 748 gallons).
- Divide the total gallons by the number of residents.
- Divide by the number of days on the bill.
Average water use in multifamily housing in our region is 40 gallons per person per day (it is 60 gallons per person for single family housing). If your building uses much more than that and does not have any other water use (such as commercial tenants), consider asking tenants to check for leaks or doing a walkthrough. Old toilets may also be to blame if you have consistently high water use.
- Green Business Program: Get help developing individual business solutions to save water and lower utility bills.
- Water Conservation for Apartment and Condo Building Managers (pdf).