Water Waste Prevention
Eliminating water waste is a critical part of our long-term water supply management strategy. The less water is wasted, the more water is available for essential uses now and in the future. Fortunately, most of our customers are very conscientious about using water responsibly and may not even realize they are wasting water. That’s why we point it out when it comes to our attention.
Water Waste Defined
MMWD has identified the following practices as water waste:
- Irrigating ornamental landscape areas or turf areas more than three times per week (NEW effective 4/7/15)
- Irrigating ornamental landscape areas or turf areas during and 48 hours after rainfall (NEW effective 4/7/15)
- Irrigating between 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., except for system testing and repair (NEW effective 8/19/14)
- Using a hose without a shutoff nozzle (NEW effective 8/19/14)
- Hosing down sidewalks, walkways, driveways, parking lots, and other hard-surfaced areas
- Water leaks within the customer’s plumbing or private distribution systems that are not repaired within 48 hours of discovery or notification from the district, whichever occurs first
- Irrigation systems that allow water to pond on the site, over-water, or overspray the areas being watered to the point where water is collecting and/or creating runoff
- The use of non-recirculating decorative water fountains
- Any excess water runoff flowing onto the public right of way at a rate of one gallon per minute or greater, with the exception of stormwater and naturally occurring groundwater
What Is Allowed?
We often receive questions about the following two water uses. Under current regulations, these are not prohibited. However, due to the drought we encourage customers to postpone these activities or find water-saving alternatives when possible.
- Power-washing of buildings as required for occasional construction activities, as long as water runoff is not flowing into the public right of way at a rate of one gallon per minute or greater
- Washing of vehicles with a hand-held hose, as long as the hose is equipped with a shutoff nozzle and water runoff is not flowing into the public right of way at a rate of one gallon per minute or greater (See "fish-friendly" car washing tips from Marin County Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program)
Few people intentionally waste water; in most cases, they simply don’t know the rules or don’t realize they have a leak or malfunction in their system. By reporting water waste, you are helping MMWD educate the community about water waste. Here’s how it works:
- If you spot a leak or other water waste activity, please consider talking to your neighbor or to the business owner. We find in most cases they are unaware of the problem and appreciate a neighborly alert.
- to tell us about the water waste you observed. Please provide as much detail as possible to help us respond to the water waste effectively.
- One of our conservation specialists will investigate and contact the responsible party in writing with a friendly reminder about the regulations.
- In most cases, the responsible party corrects the problem and the process ends there. However, if you see continued water waste two weeks after submitting your report, please contact us at 415-945-1520.
Classifications of Typical Water Waste Conditions