12. RATIFY ELIMINATION OF WATER CREDIT FOR HALF-GALLON TOILETS
Meeting Date: October 30, 2003 Budgeted: NA
Program/Line Item No.: NA
Staff Contact: Stephanie Pintar Cost Estimate: NA
General Counsel Approval: N/A
Committee Recommendation: The Water Demand Committee considered the item on August 21, 2003 and recommended approval.
SUMMARY: On August 28, 2003, this item was considered as a Consent Calendar item. Action was continued to the October 30, 2003 meeting to allow a public hearing on the elimination of water credit for installation of half-gallon per flush toilets.
On August 21, 2003, the Board Chairman, Director Henson, directed staff to immediately suspend water credits for half-gallon per flush toilets due to the negative feedback received from users of these fixtures. Staff was directed to continue processing complete water permit applications that had been received prior to August 22, 2003, but to refuse any future applications that propose the half-gallon fixtures to offset new water uses. Applicants still have the option of installing a one-gallon per flush toilet for a slightly lower water credit value.
Feedback from a survey conducted by the District in July/August 2003 to determine the effectiveness and overall satisfaction with the half-gallon toilets was resoundingly negative. Complaints ranged from performance to repair issues. Specifically, there are problems with “splash back” of toilet contents, repair costs and unfamiliarity of plumbers with the half-gallon toilets, air compressor noise and the inability to use the toilet during electrical outages. Although responses to the survey were still being received and compiled, District staff provided the preliminary results to the Water Demand Committee on August 21, 2003. A copy of the survey and a summary of the survey results are attached as Exhibit 12-A.
RECOMMENDATION: The Board should ratify action of the Board Chairman to delete the water credit for half-gallon toilets from the list of water use credits available to offset new water fixtures. The Water Demand Committee recommended support of this action.
Correspondence received related to the half-gallon toilet water credit issue has been provided to the Board under separate cover as it was received.
BACKGROUND: The Board originally approved a list of water credits in October 1992. Staff was given the discretion to amend the list from time to time after reviewing new products. The half-gallon toilet was added to the list in 1994, but was not widely used until the jurisdictions’ water accounts dwindled. Most recently, in 2002, credit for installing a one-gallon per flush toilet was added.