Tuesday, September 6, 2016

IMPORTANT! San Francisco Commercial Water Conservation Ordinance Deadline for Compliance on January 1, 2017

UPDATE - August 31, 2016

Please be aware that state and local measures require all building owners in San Francisco replace old, water-wasting plumbing fixtures and repair leaks. Commercial properties have until January 1, 2017 to comply

By that date, building owners must submit a Commercial Conservation Affidavit to the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection (DBI), verifying that all fixtures currently installed at time of their self-inspection are water efficient and code-compliant. Commercial property owners must replace any existing fixtures that exceed the following maximum water use rates:
  • Showerheads must not exceed a maximum flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm)
  • Faucets and faucet aerators must not exceed a maximum flow rate of 2.2 gpm
  • Toilets must not exceed a maximum flow rate of 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf)
  • Urinals must not exceed a maximum flow rate of 1.0 gpf
For more information on how to comply with San Francisco’s Commercial Conservation Ordinance, visit www.sfwater.org/commercialconservation or www.sfdbi.org/commercialconservation or call DBI’s Plumbing Inspection Division at (415) 558-6058.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) continues to help properties save water through fixture rebates for the replacement of non-compliant toilets and urinals (program ends December 31, 2016); free water-efficient showerheads and aerators and standard toilet leak repair parts; free Water-Wise Evaluations; and other assistance. Visit www.sfwater.org/conservation or call (415) 551-4730 for more information about the SFPUC’s conservation services.

Original Post - August 5, 2014

Working with BOMA San Francisco, the City of San Francisco enacted a Commercial Water Conservation Ordinance in 2009 that requires all commercial property owners to provide certain water conservation measures for their buildings by January 1, 2017. The intent of this law is protect natural resources, address increasing demand for water, and cut greenhouse gas emissions through reduced water use. The required improvements also will reduce water and sewer costs for commercial properties.

It is advantageous for all commercial property owners to comply with the requirements now. Even though the  statutory deadline is in 2017, the savings in water and sewer costs typically pay for themselves within one to three years.  The following information is a summary of the requirements found in Chapter 13A of the San Francisco Building Code (SFBC).

Who Must Comply?

On or before January 1, 2017, all owners of:
  • Commercial buildings;
  • Any portion of a residential building, which is used for commercial purposes;
  • Any portion of a residential building converted to a tourist hotel;
  • Any portion of a residential building which is occupied as a hotel or motel unit and which has a certificate of use for tourist occupancy;
  • Any building or portion thereof which is a live/work occupancy
  • Mobile homes.
Owner’s compliance is also required when one of the following situations occurs:
  • Building Additions
    • If a building addition will increase the floor area of the building by more than 10 percent, the entire building must comply as a condition for issuance of a Certificate of Final Completion and Occupancy.
  • Building Alterations and Improvements
    • If the cost estimated in a building permit for an alternation or improvement is greater than $150,000, compliance is required in all facilities that serve the specific area of alteration or improvement and is a condition for issuance of a Certificate of Final Completion and Occupancy or final permit sign off.
  • Alternations or Improvements to Rooms with Water Conservation Devices
    • If an alteration or improvement of any cost is located in a room that contains a faucet, shower, water closet (toilet), or urinal, compliance is required in that room as a condition for issuance of a Certificate of Final Completion and Occupancy or final permit sign off.
Please click here for more information about what the law requires.  If you have any questions, please call SFDBI's Plumbing Inspection Division at (415) 558-6570.

For more information on financing options, efficient toilet and urinal rebates, and free water-efficient device which can help achieve compliance with the water conservation ordinance, please contact the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission at (415) 551-4730 or click here.

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