Daly City looks to go with less flow

In an effort to reduce water usage and conserve energy, Daly City officials are considering an ordinance that would require homes to have efficient fixtures that use less water.

Patrick Sweetland, director of Daly City’s water and wastewater services, said the ordinance will address the local water supply limits set by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and new state standards.

“We are essentially dealing with reaction to the local water supply limits and the new master sales contract,” he said. “It will address retrofits to single-family and multifamily dwellings and keep in compliance with the green building ordinance adoptions.”

Retail and residential customers will need to reduce and conserve water by 20 percent by 2018, Sweetland said. The limit will be set at 184 million gallons per day. Daly City currently uses an estimated 200 million to 250 million gallons per day.

The limits are set by San Francisco, which supplies Daly City with water through the Hetch Hetchy system.

In order to meet those limits, Sweetland said, residents would be required to use more efficient water fixtures for new construction. The city will not place limits or restrictions on water use and time of day.

Sweetland said efficiency and fixture requirements would be set for new construction and remodeling of homes and businesses if the ordinance is adopted. He would not say if it would require homeowners to change their current water fixtures.

“I don’t want to get too far ahead of the City Council making a decision,” he said.

Daly City’s City Council is expected to hold the first public hearing on this ordinance Jan. 25.

Cathy Pantazy, a member of the Saint Francis Heights Homeowners Association, said she is in favor of conserving water, but hoped the city officials would not make it mandatory.

“When something is mandatory there is always a problem,” she said. “I would hope they would give incentives on things like this, give free or reduced shower heads or toilets, instead of the iron fist and it has to be done.”

The proposed ordinance is intended to provide a standard implementation template among retail water supply members of the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency. The agency is also working with cities to develop an Outdoor Water Use Efficiency Ordinance, which is expected to come before the City Council in February, according to Daly City documents.

Also, the city passed its green building ordinance in November, requiring new construction to be environmentally friendly and energy-efficient. The green building standards are guidelines to encourage transit-oriented development and reduce water and energy consumption, according to the city documents.

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

 

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