San Franciscans today have some of the lowest water use in California, but with long-term threats posed by climate change, we understand that supporting and developing local, state and national policy and legislation is an effective way to institutionalize water conservation. In recent years, stakeholders and City departments have developed local ordinances that help achieve San Francisco’s conservation goals.
Effective July 1, 2009, two ordinances updated local water efficiency laws for San Francisco properties: the Residential Water Conservation Ordinance and the Commercial Water Conservation Ordinance.
Do the requirements apply to me?
If you are a residential property owner in the process of selling or performing major improvements, then the requirements of the Residential Water Conservation Ordinance apply to you. This law requires that you repair plumbing leaks and install certain water and energy conservation measures to obtain a Certificate of Compliance prior to transfer of title.
SFPUC water conservation technicians can help customers identify plumbing fixtures that do not meet the Water Conservation Ordinance requirements, provide free high-efficiency showerheads and prequalify toilets for rebates when you sign up for a FREE Water-Wise Evaluation.
Residential Water Conservation At a Glance
To conserve water by ensuring efficient plumbing fixtures in residential buildings.
Who Must Comply?
Residential property owners in the process of selling or performing major interior improvements.
Housing Code, Chapter 12A
July 1, 2009
Read our frequently asked questions.
Water Conservation Section
How do I comply?
Inefficient plumbing fixtures manufactured and installed prior to 1994 must be replaced with efficient fixtures. The SFPUC offers financial incentives and technical assistance for the replacement of inefficient plumbing fixtures. The Ordinance established the following water efficiency guidelines for residential properties:
- All showerheads have a maximum flow of 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm)
- All showers have no more than one showerhead per valve
- All faucets and faucet aerators have a maximum flow rate of 2.2 gpm
- All water closets (toilets) have a maximum rated water consumption of 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf), or the flush volume set by updates to the San Francisco Plumbing Code. Effective July 1, 2011, new toilet fixture installations may not exceed 1.28 gallons per flush, the maximum rated water consumption established in the San Francisco Plumbing Code, Chapter 4, Section 402.2.
- All water leaks have been repaired
Compliance with the requirements of the Residential Water Conservation Ordinance must be completed through the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection
(DBI) Housing Inspection Services. See a list of DBI certified inspectors
. Your Realtor is a good source for more information on obtaining a Certificate of Compliance or to schedule an inspection, call DBI Housing Inspection Services at (415) 558-6220.
Be sure to check the Residential Water Conservation Ordinance Program Brochure for more detailed information, or the FAQs for frequently asked questions.
If you have a specific question about compliance with the ordinance or other water conservation programs to help you comply, contact the SFPUC Water Conservation Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.
These resources are available to help you comply with San Francisco’s Residential Water Conservation Ordinance: