Water-Conserving Plumbing Fixtures Required in California

Jamie Sternberg, Esq.

 

November, 2016

 

California Civil Code §1101.1-1101.9 require water-conserving plumbing fixtures be installed in residential and commercial property built before January 1, 1994.

  • Single family residences must be brought into compliance beginning in January 1, 2014 (when a building permit is issued) with full compliance by January 1, 2017.
  • Multifamily and commercial property must be brought into compliance beginning on January 1, 2014 (when a building permit is issued) with full compliance by January 1, 2019.

To be compliant, plumbing fixtures may not use more than the following water:

(1) Toilets – 1.6 gallons per flush

(2) Urinals – 1 gallon per flush

(3) Showerheads – 2.5 gallons per minute

(4) Interior faucets -2.2 gallons per minute

 Single Family Residences

Beginning January 1, 2014, when a building permit for alterations or improvements is issued, all noncompliant plumbing fixtures must be replaced.

Beginning January 1, 2017:

  • noncompliant plumbing fixtures must be replaced.
  • If a property is being sold, the seller must disclose to the buyer in writing the retrofit requirements and whether the residence includes any noncompliant plumbing fixtures.

 Multifamily Property and Commercial Property

Beginning on January 1, 2014, noncompliant plumbing must be replaced:

  • For any alterations or improvements to a room in a building that require a building permit and that room contains any noncompliant plumbing fixtures, the building permit applicant must replace all noncompliant plumbing fixtures in that room.
  • For building additions in which the sum of concurrent building permits by the same permit applicant increases the floor area more than 10 percent. The building permit applicant must replace all noncompliant plumbing fixtures in the building.
  • For building alterations or improvements in which the total construction cost estimated in the building permit is more than one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000), the building permit applicant must replace all noncompliant plumbing fixtures that service the specific area of the improvement.

Beginning January 1, 2019:

  • Noncompliant plumbing fixtures must be replaced.
  • Water-conserving plumbing fixtures must operate at the manufacturer’s rated water consumption when the tenant takes possession.
  • The tenant is responsible for notifying the landlord if the water-conserving plumbing fixtures are using more than the manufacturer’s rated water consumption. The landlord is required to make repairs (unless the lease states otherwise).
  • If a property is being sold, the seller must disclose to the buyer in writing the retrofit requirements and whether the residence includes any noncompliant plumbing fixtures.

 There are exceptions:

  • For registered historical sites;
  • For up to one year if a demolition permit has been issued for the building;
  • If a licensed plumber certifies that, due to the age or configuration of the property or its plumbing, installation of water-conserving plumbing fixtures is not technically feasible.
  • Water service for the building has been is permanently disconnected.

 

Civil Code §1101.1-1101.9 is in the downloadable pdf attached.

Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP is a full service real estate law firm representing residential and commercial property owners and managers. This article is for general information purposes only. Laws may have changed since this article was published. Before acting, be sure to receive legal advice from our office. If you have questions, please contact your local KTS office. For contact information, please visit our website: www.kts-law.com. For past Legal Alerts, Questions & Answers, and Legal Articles, please consult the resource section of our website.

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