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For Businesses

Sinks

Water use varies greatly from business to business. Our water efficiency experts can work with you to find water savings based on your unique needs. Together, we can help make your operations more water efficient, reducing your water bill, improving your bottom line—and conserving our precious water resources.

Businesses, schools and commercial offices reopening after a lengthy period away should flush their water systems to eliminate any buildup sitting in pipes and plumbing that have not been used for a while. Stagnant water can affect your water quality and cause illness, so it is important to properly flush your water system before reopening to ensure you have high-quality, fresh water.

Flushing Your System

  • Flush hot and cold water through all plumbing sources (sinks, showers, faucets, etc.) by turning on the tap for both your hot and cold water. 
  • Flush your hot water until the water reaches its maximum temperature; flush your cold water until it reaches a steady, cool temperature (typically 10 minutes). 
  • Larger businesses may need to flush for longer periods and in segments (room by room) to maintain proper water pressure. 
  • Dispose of old ice, and flush the water source for your ice maker.

Clean Faucet Aerators and Replace Water Filters

  • Remove and clean your aerators on your taps.
  • If you have water filters, replacing them will also keep your water supply fresh.

Resources

  • If you have questions about flushing your system or about your water quality, contact our Water Quality Lab at 415.945.1550.

For more information about flushing your system before reopening, visit the Environmental Protection Agency's website.

A water entitlement is the maximum amount of water the district is committed to provide non-residential customers on an annual basis.

In response to the 1988-1991 drought, the district began assigning water budgets to new commercial services. In September of 1991, the water district’s Board of Directors passed Ordinance 327, amending district code to include the assessment of both water entitlements and water budgets for all new and existing non-residential services. In January 2011, the Board of Directors passed Ordinance 421, amending district code to require specific indoor and outdoor efficiency requirements be met before an increase to the water budget will be considered.

Your water budget represents a business’ actual water needs and is the district’s determination of the actual consumption requirement for that business (District Code 11.08.035). The water budget may be less than or equal to the water entitlement, but may never exceed the entitlement. As a result, if the district calculates a site’s water budget at a level higher than the site’s entitlement, an increase to the entitlement will be required before the water budget will be increased.

For billing purposes, the water budget is divided over the billing periods, either monthly or bi-monthly. These monthly or bi-monthly allocations are referred to as the account’s baseline. The water use for each billing period is compared to the account’s baseline for the same period and is billed accordingly. 

For questions about your water budget, contact Conservation@MarinWater.org, or call 415.945.1520.

For questions about your water entitlement contact EngineeringServices@MarinWater.org, or call 415.945.1530.

Water-Energy Rebates for Restaurants and Food Service Facilities

You can combine rebates from Pacific Gas and Electric and the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership to cover the full cost of the equipment when you purchase and replace existing qualifying commercial kitchen equipment like dishwashers, steam cookers, pre-rinse spray valves and lavatory faucets. For more information, visit the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership website.

Table Tents and Linen Cards

Under the district’s water conservation requirements, restaurants may serve drinking water only upon request, and hotels and other lodging establishments must offer customers the option to decline daily laundering of linens and towels. To help you get out the word to your customers, Marin Water offers free table tents and linen cards while supplies last. To place an order, please email WaterConservation@MarinWater.org.

Water Use Surveys

Through our Conservation Assistance Program (CAP), Marin Water offers free onsite water use surveys to help you find ways to reduce water use at your business. During the consultation we'll evaluate the existing water-using fixtures, landscape irrigation system, and water use patterns for water saving opportunities. 

Large irrigation systems may need a separate appointment for a complete Large Landscape Water Use Survey. 

After the visit, you will receive a written description of existing water use patterns and a list of recommendations you can follow to reduce your water consumption. In addition, the district may offer free water-saving devices based on the site findings and existing equipment. 

For Professional Landscapers

Add value to your services by providing clients with information on the most up to date water conservation practices and technologies. Marin Water can help. Click here for information on training opportunities and other resources.