FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE04-16
Introduces Innovative New Comprehensive Water Re-Use Program
to Decrease Water Billing Rate for Buildings Which Recycle Some Water
and Take Other Conservation Steps
Commissioner Christopher O. Ward of the New York City Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) today announced a new Comprehensive Water Re-use Program
(CWRP) that will allow property owners who purchase equipment to recycle
some of the water used in their properties, as well as take other water-saving
measures, to receive water service from the City at a reduced rate.
The CWRP would require onsite treatment for a portion of the wastewater
created in a building, and a system for re-using that treated water within
the building in places that do not require the highest quality drinking
water, such as toilets. In exchange, the City would reduce the rate that
the property is billed for water by 25 percent.
“The Comprehensive Water Re-use Program is a way for property
owners to decrease their water bills while being environmentally responsible,”
said Commissioner Ward. “By recycling used water onsite for non-potable
uses, the City can save on water delivery, maintenance and sewage treatment
costs. But more importantly, we’ll drive down the total amount of
water used in the City every day. In exchange, property owners will use
less water and pay less for the water they do use.
“Water conservation is crucial to the long-term safety and reliability
of the City’s water system. The simple facts are, it’s much
easier and less expensive to conserve water than to secure additional
water sources and build the necessary infrastructure that goes with them.
We think so highly of this opportunity that it’s the first time
the City has ever offered a different water rate for customers in any
kind of water use program.”
To qualify for the 25 percent reduced water rate under the CWRP, buildings
must have the following:
An onsite treatment system that captures and treats wastewater from
the building and recycles it for use in toilets, irrigation and cooling
towers. This would require at minimum a collection tank that has a
trash trap that would remove debris from the recycled water and a
secondary treatment process that performs sediment removal, color
normalization and disinfection. It also requires a storage tank for
treated recycled water;
A separate system to capture, store and treat stormwater for either
non-potable or irrigation purposes;
A master water meter for the building and individual meters for
all commercial tenants. Service lines for the recycling and storage
systems must also be metered;
Low-flow fixtures throughout the building, including toilets that
use 1.6 gallons per flush or less, and showerheads and faucets that
use 2.5 gallons per minute or less. Washing machines in the building
may also use at most 9.5 gallons per cubic foot of capacity.
In return for performing the above, buildings qualify for the following:
A water rate reduction of 25 percent;
The property will be eligible to apply for a sewer allowance based
on the proportion of household wastewater and stormwater that remains
out of the sewer system as compared to a building that has no water
Buildings would also have to demonstrate water usage that is 25 percent
less than other buildings of comparable size and usage to qualify. They
also have to be up to date on their bill payments.
The current rate charged for water in New York City is $1.52 per 100
cubic feet, or 748 gallons. The sewer rate is calculated as 159 percent
of the water charge, or $2.42 per 100 cubic feet.
New York City in 2004 uses more than 25 percent less water every day
than it did in 1991 -- around 1.1 billion gallons a day as opposed to
almost 1.5 billion gallons a day in 1991. The change is due in large part
to a massive conservation drive by the Department of Environmental Protection
that has included universal water metering, a Toilet Rebate Program that
replaced over 1.3 million old water-wasting toilets, a program to install
fire hydrant locks in neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs, and
a leak detection program to inspect underground water mains for leaks.
Water use in the City has also been driven down by a local law that
requires low-flow fixtures in all new construction and for building renovations.
Additional savings have been seen from public education campaigns and
smaller conservation programs, including one to put water displacement
bags in individual toilet tanks, which saves around a gallon per flush
in those toilets.
“The progress we’ve seen in a short time from previous water
conservation programs has been remarkable,” said Commissioner Ward.
“But we need to keep thinking about ways to push consumption down
further. It is necessary for us to have water use at a level that can
be sustained in the future considering all the potential supply and delivery