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February 14, 2018
deppressoffice@dep.nyc.gov, (718) 595-6600

Low-Income and Senior Property Owners Eligible for Funding to Upgrade Plumbing Fixtures

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that up to $1 million in funding is available for low-income and senior property owners citywide to upgrade their plumbing with new, high-efficiency models. This targeted expansion of the Toilet Replacement Program, which provides $125 vouchers, will encourage property owners to replace their older toilets with high-efficiency models, saving approximately 40 gallons of water per toilet each day. DEP is funding several different water conservation initiatives, including the Toilet Replacement Program, as part of a larger effort to reduce citywide water consumption in preparation for the shutdown of the Delaware Aqueduct, which is currently planned for 2022.

This program is targeted at approximately 4,300 3- and 4-family property owners citywide. These property owners are already enrolled in DEP’s Home Water Assistance Program, which provides a $115.89 bill credit annually to low-income, senior, and disabled households. DEP has begun mailing Toilet Replacement Program information to eligible properties and the initiative will continue through May 2019, or while funding lasts.

Older, inefficient toilets can use anywhere from 3.5 to 5 gallons of water per flush while modern high-efficiency WaterSense® certified models consume only 1.28 gallons of water per flush, or less. To date, over 12,400 toilets have been replaced citywide through the Toilet Replacement Program, saving a total of about 500,000 gallons of water each day.

Water conservation efforts not only help to ensure an adequate supply of healthy drinking water, they also reduce the amount of electricity, chemicals, and other costs associated with operating the water system. A five percent reduction in water demand in New York City will decrease carbon emissions from the wastewater treatment process by more than 15,500 metric tons per year, the equivalent of removing 3,300 cars from the road or planting more than 400,000 trees and letting them grow for ten years.

As a result of water conservation programs in New York City, the transition from frontage billing to metered billing, the roll out of Automated Meter Readers and real-time feedback about water consumption, overall water use in the city has declined from over 1.5 billion gallons a day in 1980 to roughly 1 billion gallons a day at present. This significant reduction occurred while the city’s population grew from just over 7.1 million to 8.5 million in the same period.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing approximately 1 billion gallons of high quality drinking water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8.5 million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 in the upstate watershed. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with a planned $18.9 billion in investments over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

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