Meeting Date:

August 17, 2009





Darby Fuerst,




General Manager

Line Item No.:




Prepared By:


Stephanie Pintar


Cost Estimate:


General Counsel Approval:  N/A

Committee Recommendation:  N/A

CEQA Compliance:  N/A


SUMMARY:  District Rule 24.A, Table 1, Residential Fixture Unit Count Values (Exhibit 4-A), includes a fixture unit count value for installation of Ultra-Low Flush Half Gallon-Per-Flush Toilets.  At its July 20, 2009 regular meeting, the Board of Directors removed Half Gallon-Per-Flush Toilets from Table 4, Ultra-Low Consumption Appliance Credits. Half Gallon-Per-Flush toilets had previously received a Water Use Credit of 0.3 fixture units that could be used to offset new water fixtures in a home. The Board cited product manufacturing issues and non-certification by recognized testing agency as reasons for this action.


Staff is recommending that the Board adopt Resolution 2009-11 (Exhibit 4-B) to amend Table 1, Residential Fixture Unit Count Values to remove the fixture unit count value for Half Gallon-Per-Flush Toilets.  Staff supports this amendment to ensure consistency in the application of the District’s Rules and Regulations. 


RECOMMENDATION:  Staff recommends the Board adopt Resolution 2009-11 amending Table 1, Residential Fixture Unit Count Values.


BACKGROUND:  The Board originally approved a list of fixture unit count values in October 1992.  The half-gallon per flush toilet was added to the list in 1994, but was not widely used until early this decade when the jurisdictions’ water accounts declined.  The half-gallon per flush toilet uses compressed air to enable the flush and requires an air compressor to operate the toilets.  In May 2003, District staff requested authorization to survey water permit applicants and homeowners that had one or more half-gallon per flush toilets installed between 1994 and 2003.  


Staff proposed the survey in response to concerns expressed by residential users of the half-gallon per flush toilets.  Specifically, concerns were received by the District that the toilets and/or air compressors required regular maintenance and adjustments, there was a shortage of local plumbers familiar with the toilets, the toilets sometimes leaked or failed to flush properly, property owners were known to replace the half-gallon per flush toilets with higher flow toilets once a final permit inspection was conducted, and there were noise problems associated with the air compressor.  Staff wanted to assess whether the District should continue to offer an incentive for installing these fixtures, or whether the practice should be reconsidered.  In addition, the District received several requests from property owners that installed half-gallon per flush toilets to enable the addition of a second bathroom prior to Ordinance No. 98 who wanted to upgrade upon adoption of the second bathroom protocol. 


Feedback from the survey conducted by the District was resoundingly negative.  Complaints ranged from performance to repair issues.  Specifically, there were problems with “splash back” of toilet contents, repair costs and unfamiliarity of plumbers with the half-gallon per flush toilets, air compressor noise and the inability to use the toilet during electrical outages.   


On August 21, 2003, the Board Chairman 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 per flush fixtures to offset new water uses.  The half-gallon per flush toilet was deleted from Table 1, Residential Fixture Unit Count, for the first reading of Ordinance No. 111.  Half-gallon toilets were added back into the ordinance during the second reading and have been available since 2004.



4-A      Table 1, Residential Fixture Unit Count Values 

4-B      Resolution 2009-11