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Water agency offers toilet rebates

Second batch of vouchers issued.

Posted: March 27, 2008 1:45 a.m.
Updated: May 28, 2008 5:03 a.m.
 
The rush for a better flush has prompted local water officials to offer Santa Clarita Valley homeowners a second batch of toilet rebate vouchers.

Board members of the Castaic Lake Water Agency have approved a recommendation made by their Water Resources Committee to issue more rebate vouchers for the popular ultra-low-flush toilet voucher program.

In January, the agency sold out of vouchers offered in its initial program launched to promote water conservancy.

"This is something we have to do in order to keep the program going,"

said agency General Manager Dan Masnada. "The good thing is that it looks like the trend to conserve water is higher than we anticipated."

The agency's water resources manager, Dirk S. Marks, in his recommendation to the board Wednesday night, pointed out that public demand for the agency's ultra-low-flush toilet vouchers exceeded budgeted funds.

He recommended in his report that the board consider funding an additional 150 vouchers to carry the agency's conservation program through to the end of this fiscal year.

After The Signal reported details of the toilet rebate in mid-January, the Newhall County Water District sold all of its 80 rebates, issued 40 more rebates and sold all of those.

The new batch of 150 vouchers will be introduced in addition to 50 vouchers already set aside for Water Awareness Month in May.

The agency, which currently budgets $25,000 for its toilet voucher program, needs an additional $11,250 to fund the second batch.

The vouchers are handed out by each of Santa Clarita's four water retailers: The Newhall County Water District, the Valencia Water Company, the Santa Clarita Water Company (a division of the wholesaler) and Los Angeles Water District 39.

"This is a win-win situation," Masnada said. "The homeowner wins, the agency wins and it reduces water demand."

Issuing more vouchers demonstrates to homeowners that water conservation is a year-round pursuit and not just a one-time promotion each year, agency officials said.

Homeowners stand to save water and save money - as do Santa Clarita Valley residents.

Owners of homes built prior to 1992 could fill their bath tubs every day for a year with the water they save replacing their old toilets with ultra-low-flow models.

Homeowners who replace a toilet in a house built prior to 1992 with an ultra-low flow toilet or a high-efficiency toilet are eligible for a $75 rebate with proof of purchase. The ultra-low flow toilets, although efficient, still use more water than the high-efficiency toilets.

According to the California Urban Water Conservation Council, toilets made between 1980 and 1992 use roughly 3.5 gallons to flush.

Homeowners can save about 38 gallons of water a day with high-efficiency toilets. Likewise, they save about seven gallons a day replacing an ultra-low-flow toilet with a high-efficiency model.

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