Feature image for Water Programs & Conservation

September 12, 2022

Water Programs & Conservation

By Shannon Hughes

As a real estate expert and advisor, my clients come to me with various property-related and community-centric questions. Recently, I've been focused on how my family can implement water-saving tools in our household, and I've had clients ask about ways to leverage graywater to reduce water waste. To help you stay informed, here are a few simple solutions, local programs, and tips for water conservation.

View of a kitchen sink

Low-cost add-ons for existing fixtures 

Faucet aerators, shower timers, and toilet banks are easy-to-install, low-cost ways to significantly reduce water waste without unnecessarily replacing existing fixtures. 

  • Faucet aerators fit on the tip of a faucet and help the water flow out evenly while reducing the amount of water that comes from a tap. 
  • Shower timers work to help increase water-waste awareness within the home. These nifty devices attach to the shower wall and have various features and styles, including retro sand timers, digital timers, and dual shower and water consumption timers.
  • Toilet banks are simple water-filled containers that hang inside the tank wall. Install the toilet bank and rest easy, knowing you save around 0.8 gallons of water per flush. 

* Did you know a 15-minute shower can use as much as 37 gallons of water? Learn more at Harvard.edu.

Choose high-efficiency appliances 

When selecting new appliances, choosing products built for sustainability makes sense. High-efficiency washing machines, toilets, dishwashers, and shower heads help bake-in water conversation in our everyday lives. These intelligent appliances help make a significant impact on reducing water usage. For example, an ENERGY STAR-certified washer can save more than 2,000 gallons of water annually.

Graywater rebate program 

Don't waste drinking water! Make use of graywater. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has a Laundry-to-Landscape rebate program that provides qualifying customers who install an L2L greywater system a rebate of up to $100 off the purchase cost of three essential components:

  • Schedule 40 PVC pipe – Rebate not to exceed $25
  • One (1) full port diverter valve/three-way valve – Rebate not to exceed $50
  • One (1) air admittance valve (auto-vent or inline vent) – Rebate not to exceed $25

*Graywater is gently used water from washing machines, showers, bathroom sinks, etc., that is viable for use outdoors to help grow plants and landscape irrigation.

Learn more at sfpuc.org.

View of a bathroom with a sink, shower, and bathtub

Water conservation tips

Nothing feels better than a long shower or soaking in the tub after an exhausting day. However, if you are looking to conserve water, you may want to be mindful of how you use water and seek out some areas to help cut back. Here are a few ways you can conserve water, courtesy of saveourwater.com

  • Fill Bathtub Halfway or Less. Filling up your bathtub halfway or less can save 17-25 gallons of water per person.
  • Fix Leaks. Fixing leaks inside and outside the home can save 27 to 90 gallons of water daily.
  • Turn Off Water When Brushing Teeth and Shaving. By turning off the water when brushing your teeth or shaving, you can save 8 gallons of water per person daily.
  • Wash Full Loads. Washer: saves 15-45 gallons per load. Dishwasher: saves 5-15 gallons per load.

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