roughly 800 new state laws in California this year, the
Monterey Peninsula Water Management District has its own new
rule requiring that homeowners and business owners start
switching to “high-efficiency” toilets, which use a meager
1.28 gallons of water per flush.
“We are requiring the high efficiency toilets for new
construction, remodels and replacement of old toilets,” and
when houses are sold, Stephanie Pintar, water demand manager
for the MPWMD, told The Pine Cone.
But the water district — which is calling for the 1.28-gallon
toilets instead of the previously mandated 1.6-gallon variety
— is offering cash for some of those who retrofit their
bathrooms with the new toilets.
“We will give up to $200 dollars for voluntarily replacing an
older toilet with a high-efficiency one,” Pintar said.
Businesses can receive rebates for up to 20 toilets.
In the late 1990s, the water district board passed an
ordinance requiring all “visitor-serving” business, such as
hotels, restaurants and gas stations, to install 1.6-gallon
toilets by Dec. 30, 2000.
While those businesses are not being told to retrofit their
toilets, non-visitor serving business such as banks and retail
stores that were not required in 2000 to update their toilets
are now required to install the 1.28-gallon version.
“We don’t know how many businesses that will affect on the
Peninsula,” Pintar said.
Retrofits by non-residential customers will save approximately
160-acre feet of water per year, Pintar said.
She said the district is one step ahead of a requirement by
the state, which in 2014 will require that only 1.28-gallon
toilets be available for sale.
High efficiency toilets are readily available and stores have
already been phasing out the old 1.6-gallon versions. Of the
more than 30 different types of toilets Home Depot in Seaside
offers, all but one is of the high efficiency variety,
according to Pintar.
Some residential and commercial water users who install high
efficiency toilets and other devices such as shower heads,
faucets and clothes washers may be eligible for rebates and
Homeowners who are not remodeling or building a new house
won’t be required to switch to the new toilets. But anyone who
sells a house will.
“But they are encouraged to take advantage of the rebate
program,” Pintar said.
For details about the new rules and the water district’s
rebates, go to www.montereywaterinfo.org.