Residential Water Efficiency Programs
Beyond implementation of water efficiency projects in municipal properties, DEP has identified conservation opportunities in the residential building sector through the Residential Water Efficiency Program Home water survey studies have indicated that the largest percentage of water consumption in single family homes and multi-family dwellings is used for flushing toilets, followed closely by laundry, showering, and running faucets or taps.
DEP ran a Toilet Rebate Program from 1994-1997 that was particularly successful in achieving significant and measurable reductions in water demand. Due to the popularity and success of the earlier program, DEP will be launching a 2013 Toilet Replacement Program. Phase I of this program will consist of a voucher-based system, which will effectively provide a discount to the customer on the cost of new toilet fixtures. The goal of this program is to incentivize owners of residential and multi-family buildings to replace outdated toilets with high-efficiency models. Eligible customers can access the voucher application portal through their My DEP Account. Many older toilets use anywhere from 3.5 to 5 gallons of water per flush, whereas high-efficiency models have been designed to consume 1.28 gallons per flush or less. DEP is also planning a Phase II of the Toilet Replacement Program, which will utilize the same voucher system to provide incentives to homeowners to replace old model toilets in remaining eligible housing, which did not participate in the original 1994 Toilet Rebate Program.
As part of our commitment to environmental stewardship, DEP is also in the process of developing a Toilet Recycling Program to run simultaneously with the 2013 Toilet Replacement Program to capture the waste volumes generated by large-scale toilet replacements in residential buildings. Rather than discarding toilets in landfills, DEP is developing a mechanism for the material to be beneficially reused in sidewalk repair and green infrastructure projects throughout the city. By closing the loop on this waste stream and launching two programs with numerous environmental benefits, DEP is continuing to demonstrate a commitment to its core mission of protecting the natural environment and delivering reliable, high quality drinking water.