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Where do the Plumbing Fixture Retrofit Regulations apply?

Do Mobile Homes have to be retrofitted?

I don't live in the City of Santa Cruz. Do I still have to retrofit?

When do I need to do the retrofitting?

What are the high efficiency standards for toilets, showerheads and urinals?

I don't know how much water my toilet flushes. How do I find out?

What toilets should I buy?

Can I get a toilet rebate when I replace my toilet?

How do I know if I have high efficiency showerheads?

Who is responsible for retrofitting the property?

My home already has all high efficiency fixtures. What do I do?

Where do I get a Water Conservation Certificate form? What do I do with it?

Where do I get the Transfer of Responsibility and the Disclosure forms?

What happens if I don't complete the retrofit?

How do I get more information?
 

 

Where do the informationPlumbing Fixture Retrofit Regulations apply? 
The Plumbing Fixture Retrofit Regulations apply to all properties receiving water from the Santa Cruz Water Department, including homes and businesses in the City of Santa Cruz, the City of Capitola, Live Oak, and other parts of unincorporated Santa Cruz County surrounding the City of Santa Cruz.

If the property is located in:

City of Santa Cruz, Live Oak and other unincorporated areas within the Santa Cruz water service area, and part of City of Capitola within the Santa Cruz
water service area (SCMU)

       Retrofit is required by City of Santa Cruz.

Areas served by Soquel Creek
Water District, including most of Capitola and some parts of unincorporated Santa Cruz County

Retrofit is required by Soquel Creek Water District. Contact Soquel Creek Water District at 475-8500 for more information.

Unincorporated Santa Cruz County outside
of the Santa Cruz City or Soquel Creek water service areas.

Retrofit required by Santa Cruz County. Call 454-3133 for more information.

City of Scotts Valley

    No retrofit required.

City of Watsonville

    No retrofit required.

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Do Mobile Homes have to be retrofitted?
Mobile homes within the Santa Cruz water service area generally do not need to be retrofitted or certified. The city's ordinance only applies to properties that transfer by means of a grant deed, which occurs when the land transfers along with the mobile home. If the land under a mobile home sells with a grant deed within the city's water service area, retrofits will be required for any buildings and mobile homes that are a part of the sale, and the property will need to be certified.

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I don't live in the City of Santa Cruz. Do I still have to retrofit?
Yes, if the property you are selling  is in an area with water service from the City of Santa Cruz, such as Live Oak or other unincorporated areas of Santa Cruz County, as well as a part of Capitola. Santa Cruz Water customers receive a Santa Cruz Municipal Utilities (SCMU) water bill. To find out if we serve water to your property, see the map of the service area.

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When do I need to complete the retrofitting?
The regulation requires the seller to complete the retrofits before the property changes ownership. You can complete the retrofits of higher volume fixtures any time before the property is sold. You do not need to wait until you have an offer to purchase your property.
 

If the buyer and the seller agree, you can transfer the responsibility to retrofit to the buyer, in which case the buyer agrees to complete all necessary retrofits within 90 days after the property transfers.

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What are the high efficiency standards for toilets, showerheads, and urinals?
The standards for maximum flush volume and flow rate are:

Toilets: 1.28 gallons per flush (gpf) (existing 1.6gpf toilets on the property do not need to be retrofitted and will be considered to meet regulations)
Showerheads: 2.0 gallon per minute (gpm)
Urinals: 0.5 gpf 

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I don't know how much water my toilet flushes. How do I find out?

Toilets that were manufactured in 1994 or later are usually stamped or marked 1.6 gpm or 1.28 gpm on the bowl between the seat and the tank, or on the inside back wall of the tank. If your toilet does not have a stamp or mark identifying it as a low consumption fixture, our information sheet, "How Much Water Does Your Toilet Use?" will help you determine the flush volume of your toilet.

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What toilet should I buy?
All toilets currently sold in California are high efficiency toilets, flushing with 1.28 gallons or less. The Plumbing Fixture Retrofit Regulations do not require any specific brand of toilet, nor does the City recommend any particular model. The law simply requires that older, high volume toilets be replaced with high efficiency toilets. To learn about flushing performance of different toilet models on the market, check the Maximum Performance of Toilet Fixtures.

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Can I get a toilet rebate when I replace my toilet?
Yes. The City of Santa Cruz Water Department offers a rebate of up to $150 for installing a high efficiency (1.28 gpf or less) toilet that bears the Watersense label. If you are a seller, you qualify for the rebate if you retrofit the older toilet before the property is sold. If you are a buyer retrofitting an older toilet, you may receive a rebate if you complete the retrofit and application within 90 days of close of escrow and have not been issued a Notice of Violation. Check out more information on the Toilet Rebate Program.

 

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How do I know if I have a high efficiency showerhead?
First, check your showerhead for any labels that may say 2.0 gpm (gallons per minute). The Water Conservation office has shower flow test kits available to help you determine the flow rate of your showerhead. If you would like to determine if your showerhead meets the 2.0 gpm maximum flow rate, please call 831-420-5230 to request a free flow test kit.

 

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Who is responsible for retrofitting the property?
The regulations make the seller responsible for retrofitting the property. The seller may do the work him or herself or may hire someone to complete the retrofit.

If the buyer and the seller agree, they may apply to transfer responsibility to retrofit to the buyer. In this case, the buyer is responsible as the new owner and must complete the retrofit and certification within 90 days of the property transfer date.

The City of Santa Cruz does not arrange for the retrofit of fixtures or pay for the work to be completed.

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My home already has all high efficiency fixtures. What do I do?
You will need to arrange for an inspection, either by Water Conservation Office staff or by a licensed plumber or general contractor.

  • To set up a free inspection with Water Conservation staff, contact our office at 831-420-5230. The conservation inspector will certify the property and provide you with a Water Conservation Certification at that time.
  • If you hire a licensed plumbing contractor or general contractor to inspect the property, the contractor will need to complete Section 3B of the Water Conservation Certificate.

If your home was constructed in 1994 or later, the property can be certified without an inspection by submitting a copy of the building permit or other documentation showing date of construction.

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Where do I get a Water Conservation Certificate form? What do I do with it?
The Water Conservation Certificate form is available online at www.cityofsantacruz.com/pfr. Blank Certificates are also available at the City of Santa Cruz Water Conservation Office, located at 212 Locust Street, Suite B, Santa Cruz, California, 95060. 

 

Once you have the Certificate, fill out completely Sections 1, 2, and 4. The inspector will fill out Section 3A or 3B. If your property was built in 1994 or later, enter the year built in Section 3C. Once complete, return the form to the Water Conservation Office at 212 Locust St. Ste B, Santa Cruz.

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Where do I get the Transfer of Responsibility and the Disclosure forms?
The Transfer of Responsibility form and the Disclosure form can be downloaded from this website. If you cannot download an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file, most real estate agents will have them available. You can also pick up the forms at the Water Conservation Office, 212 Locust Street, Suite B, Santa Cruz.

 

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What happens if I don't complete the retrofit?
If a seller does not complete the retrofit, and the buyer has not agreed to take responsibility to retrofit the property, the Plumbing Fixture Retrofit regulation provides the buyer with a legal remedy. The ordinance makes the seller liable to the buyer in the amount of $250 for each fixture that does not comply, or the actual costs of the buyer to comply, whichever are greater.

The Water Department will require that the new owner complete the retrofit. Buyers who fail to complete the retrofit within 90 days after taking ownership will not be eligible for the $150 rebate offered by the Water Department. Failure to comply with retrofit requirements may result in a Notice of Violation being recorded against the property.

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How do I get more information?
For more information, forms, or to request an inspection, please contact:

City of Santa Cruz Water Conservation Office
212 Locust Street, Suite B
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Phone: 831-420-5230
FAX: 831-420-5231
Email: ccartwright@cityofsantacruz.com 

 

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Last updated: 12/17/2013 12:30:53 PM