Starting October 2017, people living in San Lorenzo Valley, southeast of San Francisco, will be paying far more for water. The local water district has revamped its tiered charges, where property owners essentially paid for water based on their usage, to a flat rate, which will continue to go up year after year for at least five years.
So, this means that a homeowner, currently paying $65 per month, the average residential water bill in the Valley, will see their bill increase by 37 percent, approaching $90 per month. By 2021, that statement will go up to $110 per month.
According to the water district, the increase is necessary to fund long-overdue infrastructure improvements. This is happening in water districts all over the country. This means we can expect many more home and building owners will also see their water and sewer related charges take a big monthly jump.
As you can imagine, this rate increase in San Lorenzo Valley was not welcome news. Nor is it or will it be in other areas of the country when they find out their charges are also going up. In the Valley, more than 3,000 people wrote protest letters. “A number of individuals for justifiable reasons opposed the rate increase because they are on fixed incomes,” said Brian Lee with the local water agency. “Seniors come to mind first, and we recognize this is going to be a burden.”
But seniors are certainly not the only ones protesting. The San Lorenzo Valley School District expects to pay more than $60,000 in increased charges starting in 2018, equivalent to an average teacher’s salary. The school district is upset because unlike business owners and landlords, they cannot pass on these charges to anyone else. In other words, it comes right out of the district’s operating expenses, leaving a big dent.
However, there is a bright side to this story, at least for the school district. They are now looking into a variety of ways to reduce water consumption, and one that is on top of their list is to transfer from water using to no-water urinals, better known as waterless urinals.
There are a number of reasons to consider installing waterless urinals, especially for a school district. First of all, the flush handles on water using urinals get a lot of abuse in public schools. Flush handle abuse often means the urinal keeps releasing water or releases too much water per flush, which is wasteful and costly.
Along with abuse, flush handles are often vandalized. Why they are such a favorite target, no one knows. But for school administrators, urinal vandalism along with damage flush handles not only may result in costly water being wasted, invariably the flush mechanisms must be repaired or replaced, which can also be expensive.
But here is the big reason the school district is likely considering installing waterless urinals. Each urinal can save more than 30,000 gallons of water per year. Let’s say one Valley public school has ten waterless urinals installed. That means more than 300,000 gallons of water can be saved.
Very often, just by installing waterless urinals, water use reduction goals are met so that few other water reduction strategies are necessary. This means water and cost savings are all possible, just by going waterless.
For more information on waterless urinals, contact a Waterless Co representative at 800 244 6364.