Toilet Replacement Program (TRP) FAQs
Why is DEP launching a Toilet Replacement Program?
DEP has been monitoring leaks in a portion of the Delaware Aqueduct Rondout West Branch Tunnel (RWBT) that connects the Rondout Reservoir in Ulster County to the West Branch Reservoir in Putnam County, specifically in the towns of Roseton and Wawarsing. The leaks release between 15 and 35 million gallons of water a day, depending on the amount of water the aqueduct is carrying. In order to address the leaks in the Delaware Aqueduct, DEP has developed the Water for the Future (WFF) initiative.
As a part of the Water for the Future Program, DEP will build a three-mile bypass tunnel around a portion of the aqueduct that is leaking in Roseton in Orange County, and repair other leaks in Wawarsing, in Ulster County, from the inside of the existing tunnel. Construction of the bypass tunnel is expected to be completed by 2020, at which point the leaking portion of the Delaware Aqueduct will be shut-down and decommissioned and the bypass tunnel will be connected to the system to convey water past the leaking portion of the RBWT. Shutting down the Delaware Aqueduct and connecting the bypass tunnel will temporarily eliminate approximately 50% of the water supply to the in-city distribution system for a period of 6 months to 2 years. During this time, existing supplies will need to be optimized, augmented and conserved. To prepare for the shut-down of the aqueduct, The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is currently developing a large-scale water conservation program targeting a 5% overall reduction in water consumption city-wide by the year 2020. A major component of the overall Conservation Program, the Toilet Replacement Program (TRP) incentivizes owners of residential buildings to replace older toilets (3.5 gpf or above) with high-efficiency models with flow rates of 1.28 gpf or less. This program is expected to generate a 3% reduction in citywide water demand over the next seven (7) years.
What types of toilets are permitted under the Toilet Replacement Program?
Toilet models that qualify for a voucher must be WaterSense certified, with the exception of residential flushometer toilets with matched valve and bowl that arerated 1.28 gpf by appropriate national standards and MaP tested with a score of at least 350 grams.
What is the importance of WaterSense certification?
WaterSense is a voluntary industry-government program that certifies toilet water efficiency at no more than 1.28 gpf, as well as a minimum level of toilet flush performance. Visit the links below to learn more about WaterSense program requirements and to search for WaterSense approved toilet models.
I heard those high-efficiency toilets don’t flush well, why should I buy one?
One of the features of WaterSense certification is that it requires minimum flushing performance for toilets receiving the WaterSense certification. The flush performance is based on the “MaP Testing Protocol,” and WaterSense requires a minimum score of 350 grams. Some models exceed the flush performance requirements in the MaP Testing protocol. If you’re looking for a toilet model with the highest flush performance look up the MaP score on any toilet you’re considering buying.
What is Maximum Performance (MaP) testing and where can I get MaP test scores?
Maximum Performance (MaP) testing identifies how well toilet models perform bulk waste removal using a realistic test media, and grades (ranks) each toilet model based on this performance.
MaP test scores for an array of toilet models can also be found via the MaP testing website. Visit the following link to search for MaP test scores by manufacturer, rating criteria and fixture features:
Who is eligible to participate in the Toilet Replacement Program?
The TRP will occur in two phases. Phase I will begin in 2013 and allow customers working to meet the conservation requirements established by the Multifamily Conservation Program (MCP), to obtain vouchers to replace old toilets with high-efficiency models.
Due to the expiration of the Transition Program for Multifamily Buildings on June 30, 2012, the only permissible billing bases for multi-family buildings of four or more units will be charges determined in accordance with actual consumption based on a meter (“metered billing”) or charges determined in accordance with the MCP. This customer pool will be eligible for the TRP in Phase I.
Applicants cannot have participated in the original DEP Toilet Rebate Program (1994-1997) or have existing water-saving toilets and cannot be in arrears with their water/sewer account without a valid payment agreement. Applicants must have a functioning water meter and AMR box as their consumption will be monitored. If water use does not decrease the voucher may be canceled or an inspection may be required.
Phase II will begin in 2015 with the incorporation of non-MCP residential buildings into the eligible customer pool.
How do I apply for a TRP voucher?
DEP is designing an online portal that will serve as an easy and convenient way for property owners and wholesalers to interface with DEP regarding toilet voucher issuance and compensation. The web portal will also provide a list of approved high-efficiency toilet models that meet the design specification requirements of the voucher-based program.
The TRP web-portal will allow program participants apply for and receive a voucher for the purchase of a number of fixtures of specifically approved model(s). The voucher will be passed on to either a fixture retailer/distributor or to the Contractor replacing the fixtures, who in turn will pass it on to a fixture distributor. The fixture distributors will then receive payments during a scheduled payment period.Retailers and wholesalers will be responsible for promptly informing DEP when a voucher has been used (so it can be deactivated and they can be paid). The retailers and wholesalers will collect the vouchers and turn them in to DEP on a periodic basis. Each month DEP will calculate the number of vouchers received and issue an FMS-based electronic payment covering multiple vouchers to each vendor. To qualify for reimbursement, venders must report the use of each voucher they receive on nyc.gov/dep.
The person who redeems the voucher must produce photo identification (driver’s license) at the point of purchase. This information will be recorded by the vender and reported back to DEP. Vendors must complete a Department of Finance “W-9” form to enroll in the city’s electronic payment process.
Vouchers for multiple dwellings will not be issued for more than 70% of the total number of apartments within a single building. Vouchers willnot be issued to unmetered properties.
How are vouchers processed?
When the customer or their installation contractor brings their voucher to the toilet distributor they will need to provide photo identification and the distributor will record this information. The distributor will go online and log into the DEP website to report the voucher as having been redeemed and will deactivate the voucher as part of the transaction. DEP will then track water use for the customer’s property after toilets are installed.
How much is each voucher worth?
Each voucher is equal to the value of $125 toward the purchase of a single HET.
How should I dispose of the old toilets?
This will depend on the number of toilets you replace and thus have to discard. There are 3 options:
- The DEP has also arranged for plumbing supply vendors who will also be selling approved toilet models for the duration of the TRP to provide on-site refuse storage space (40 cu.yd. roll-off dumpsters) to collect the replaced toilets. TRP participants or Contractors can transport the replaced toilets to a vendor site of choice at which time vouchers can be redeemed and reimbursement will occur (if any). The replaced toilets will be collected in roll-off dumpsters at each vendor site and transported to a permitted construction & demolition (C&D) debris facility to be processed and recycled into material that can be reused.
- For smaller quantities of replaced toilets (6 or less per address), the Department of Sanitation of New York (DSNY) provides free curbside removal of large non-commercial "bulk" items (items that are too big to be discarded in a container or bag) from residential buildings. DSNY will collect up to six items from one address. Toilets will need to be packaged such that they can be handled safely by DSNY staff. The toilet needs to be placed in a bag (or double bagged) with the toilet lid taped shut. If the toilet is to be recycled, all plastic and metal parts must be separated from the toilet prior to disposal. Items must be placed on the curbside between 5pm (4pm on Fridays from October to April) and midnight the night before your regular garbage collection day.
- For larger quantities of replaced toilets (greater than 6 per address), DSNY treats this volume of materials as construction debris. While DSNY does remove non-commercial waste from homeowners/building owners engaged in small "do-it-yourself" projects, homeowners/building owners who are undertaking larger projects should contract for their own dumpster by contacting a private rubbish removal service. Bulk and construction debris generated by hired contractors or fee-for-service personnel on home/building repair or building renovation projects is considered commercial waste and it is therefore the responsibility of the contractor to arrange for appropriate private disposal. In this situation, these toilets will also be collected and disposed of as waste in a landfill.