Meeting Date:

November 13, 2017





David J. Stoldt,




General Manager

Line Item No.:    



Prepared By:

Stephanie Locke

Cost Estimate:



General Counsel Review:  Yes.

Committee Recommendation:  The Water Demand Committee considered this item on September 28, 2017, and recommended approval.

CEQA Compliance:  Ordinance No. 178 is categorically exempt from California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) under Section 15301, Class 1, Existing Facilities (Multi-Family Residential Site retrofit requirements) and Section 15303, Class 3, New Construction or Conversion of Small Structures.


SUMMARY:  Ordinance No. 178 (Exhibit 17-A) adds retrofit requirements for Multi-Family Residential Sites and Common Interest Developments (CID) to Rule 142.  CID is a type of development with commonly-owned areas that may contain water fixtures, appliances and irrigation.  CID projects (commonly known as condominiums and co-ops) have common areas that do not change ownership and therefore do not trigger the conservation requirements of MPWMD Rule 142.  Separate interest condominium/co-op units are subject to Rule 142, but the plumbing fixtures located in common area locker rooms, meeting/party rooms, offices, pool dressing rooms, etc. have not been.  The multi-family water efficiency requirements apply to Multi-Family Residential Sites and CID with four or more Dwelling Units.  There is an exception for 1.6 gallon-per-flush toilets that were installed before 2014.


Property owners/managers and Associations will be encouraged to take advantage of the Rebate Program to achieve compliance before it is mandated.  MPWMD and California American Water staff recently sponsoring workshops educating owners/managers about potential water savings in these developments and will plan to do similar workshops next year.  The incentive to use the Rebate Program before the deadline (when rebates will no longer be available) should result in significant water savings occurring sooner.  Staff estimates that water use in an apartment with older plumbing can be reduced by 60 percent through this program.


Finally, Ordinance No. 178 adds a Water Meter exception to allow permanent sub-metering of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). ADUs would otherwise be required to have dedicated California-American Water Meters installed when the Cease and Desist Order (CDO) moratorium is lifted.  Sub-metering ADUs was discussed at the September 13, 2017, Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting.  To qualify for this exemption, the Jurisdiction must confirm there is no potential that the sub-metered User could be located on a separate Site through subdivision or transfer of ownership of a portion of the Site.  Conditions of approval are recorded on the Site.


RECOMMENDATION: The Board should approve the second reading and adoption of Ordinance No. 178.  Ordinance No. 178 is categorically exempt from California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) under Section 15301, Class 1, Existing Facilities (Multi-Family Residential Site retrofit requirements) and Section 15303, Class 3, New Construction or Conversion of Small Structures.  A Notice of Exemption will be filed after adoption.



Multi-Family Retrofit Requirement

Senate Bill 407 (Padilla) approved by the Governor on October 11, 2009, requires owners of Multi-Family Residential and commercial real property built prior to January 1, 1994, to replace older water fixtures with new water efficient fixtures by January 1, 2019.  The plumbing fixtures required to be replaced include toilets, urinals, showerheads, and faucets.  Between 2014 and 2019, noncompliant plumbing fixtures must be replaced in certain circumstances, such as:


1.      For building additions that increase floor area by more than ten percent;

2.      Improvements or improvements that are greater than $150,000

3.      Remodels/improvements that occur in a bathroom that has noncompliant fixtures;


MPWMD adopted regulations in 2009 to require earlier and more stringent water efficiency requirements for Non-Residential Users (Rule 143).  Compliance with the Non-Residential requirements is being enforced by the District through Site verifications.  Ordinance No. 178 requires similar retrofits and certification of compliance by January 1, 2019. 


Common Laundry Rooms

In addition to the retrofits required by SB 407, Ordinance No. 178 requires replacement of non-efficient Clothes Washers in Common Laundry Rooms by January 1, 2019.  Common Laundry Rooms were excluded from the District’s 2014 requirement that all Non-Residential Clothes Washers be replaced with High Efficiency Clothes Washers.


Coin-operated Clothes Washers (sometimes free washers) are often found in common areas in multi-family buildings, apartment complexes and CIDs. Common Laundry Rooms provide excellent opportunities for water conservation because the frequency of use for each Clothes Washer is much greater than in-home machines.  While an in-home machine averages only 4 to 6 loads per week, common area machines often wash 20 to 50 loads per week per Clothes Washer. 


Most coin-operated washers have a Water Factor rating of 12 to 14 (top loaders); using 35 to 45 gallons per load.  Newer water efficient models have a Water Factor rating of 4 to 8; using as little as 12 gallons per load.   Water savings projections require frequency of use estimates, and this is difficult data to obtain unless the building owner regularly records accurate “coin counts”.   It is seldom the property owner owns the Clothes Washers located in the Common Laundry Rooms.  These machines are most often owned by vendors known as ‘route operators’; where the property owner receives a portion of the machines’ gross revenues.   Any effort to replace the machines with more efficient models requires the cooperation of both the property owner and the route operator that owns the machines.  


During the implementation of Rule 143, High Efficiency Clothes Washers were required to replace older Clothes Washers in Non-Residential uses.  Staff contacted many of the vendors to address the new regulations.  Staff will continue working with laundry machine vendors as Ordinance No. 178 is implemented.


Accessory Dwelling Units

The District requires separate Water Meters maintained by the Water Distribution System Operator for every User.  A “User” is defined as a residence (i.e., Dwelling Unit), commercial enterprise, or industrial enterprise.  Separate meters have been required for new Users since 1981.  Separate meters promote conservation by giving each user accountability for the water use and it facilitates enforcement of water rationing.  Tiered rates are specifically designed to send price signals to the individual water User.


The District’s separate metering requirement applies to new Single Family Dwellings and any self-sustainable secondary Dwelling Units (i.e., secondary units with a Bathroom and Kitchen).  In response to current increases in the number of Auxiliary Dwelling Units (ADUs) resulting from recently adopted legislation (and uncertainty at the Jurisdiction level about how the District’s Rules apply) staff requested legal counsel to review the matter and provide direction.  


Counsel concluded that the District does not fall within the definition of “local agency” as contemplated by the Wieckowski legislation.  Even if a broader reading were applied, the restricted nature of the local water supply provides adequate justification to seek exclusion from the requirements.  This interpretation means that ADUs must meet the requirements of the District, including the requirement for dedicated Water Meters.



17-A    Draft Ordinance No. 178