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Water Conservation and Efficiency
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority

 

MORE INFORMATION
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MWRA’s Water Conservation and Efficiency programs help maintain regional water demand comfortably below the water supply system’s safe yield (300 million gallons per day). 

MWRA’s current 5-year average regional water demand is less than 200 mgd. Water conservation also helps maintain regional wastewater flow below the required permit limit at the Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Plant (dry day limit of 436 million gallons per day). MWRA's current 5-year average regional wastewater flow is 340 mgd.

More information is available for communities, environmental groups, and individual customers covering a wide range of water conservation and efficiency topics. Details and links are provided below:

 

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MWRA ANNUAL DEMAND MANAGEMENT REPORT

Annually, MWRA prepares a demand management report (including water conservation) to meet the requirements of its National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit regarding wastewater flow to the Deer Island Treatment Plant.

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FREE WATER CONSERVATION BROCHURES

To assist member communities, environmental groups, and other interested stakeholders with their water conservation activities; the MWRA provides water conservation educational brochures (bill stuffer sized) for local distribution. If you are a water superintendent or official in the MWRA service area and would like to receive bulk quantities of the brochures at no cost, please complete a request form. PDFs of the brochures are also available for free download below.

MWRA WATER CONSERVATION BROCHURES
FREE DOWNLOAD (PDF)

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Indoor Water Conservation Bill Insert
A colorful brochure emphasizing water efficient fixtures and appliances for the home. Dimensions: 3.5” x 6.5".

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Outdoor Water Conservation Bill Insert
A colorful brochure emphasizing lawn and garden conservation.
Dimensions: 3.5” x 6.5".

 

 

 

 

 

 

To leave a message on MWRA's Water Conservation Hotline, please call (617) 242-7283 / (617) 242-SAVE.

For more information, please contact Elaine Donahue by e-mail or call (617) 788-4824.

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FREE LOW-FLOW WATER FIXTURES

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The MWRA provides water efficient retrofit kits (low-flow shower heads, low-flow faucet aerators, leak detection dye tablets, and installation guide) at no cost to member communities, individual customers, housing authorities, property managers, etc. within the service area (see list of service area communities on request form).  The MWRA purchases these easy to install kits in bulk.  To receive low-flow water fixtures, please complete a request form (PDF).  Communities or large users may request a reasonable quantity of water conservation kits.  The kits include:

  • A Low Flow Showerhead – 2.0 gpm – plastic and chrome components
  • Faucet Aerators – 1.5 gpm for the kitchen or bathroom
  • Dye Tablets – to check for silent toilet leaks
  • Installation Instructions

To leave a message on MWRA's Water Conservation Hotline, please call (617) 242-7283 / (617) 242-SAVE.

For more information, please contact Elaine Donahue bye-mail or call (617) 788-4824.

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MEMBER COMMUNITY WATER SYSTEM LEAK DETECTION TASK ORDER CONTRACT

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To ensure that member communities identify and repair leaks in local-owned distribution systems, MWRA developed leak detection regulations (360 CMR 12.00 MWRA Leak Detection Regulations) that went into effect in July 1991.  Under these regulations, communities purchasing water from MWRA are required to complete a leak detection survey of their entire distribution system at least once every two years and repair water leaks that are detected. 

Communities can accomplish the survey using their own contractor or municipal crews; or alternatively, using MWRA’s task-order leak detection contract.  MWRA’s task-order contract provides high quality leak detection services at a reasonable cost that has been bid taking advantage of the large volume of work anticipated throughout the regional system. 

Leak detection services performed under the task-order contract are paid by MWRA, and the costs are billed to the community the following year.

To request information or initiate a leak detection task-order project, please contact John McLaughlin, Project Manager by e-mail or call (617) 788-4349.

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MEMBER COMMUNITY TOILET RETROFIT PROGRAMS FOR MUNICIPAL BUILDINGS AND PILOT COMMUNITY WATER AUDITS

  • 2009 MWRA Low-Flow Toilet Retrofit Grant Program for Municipal Buildings: The MWRA implemented a $100,000 grant project to install low-flow toilet retrofits in municipal buildings or local housing authority properties during the calendar year 2009. Grants were provided as reimbursements of eligible cost (including materials and contracted installation expenses) to retrofit low-flow toilets and/or flush valves. This project was undertaken in connection with the settlement of an enforcement action, United States v. Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, taken on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Water Act.

Download the 2009 Low-Flow Toilet Retrofit Grant Program Report (PDF)

  • 2008 Low-Flow Toilet Retrofit Rebate and Pilot Water Audit Project
    The MWRA received MADEP grant funds to expand its community-based water conservation program during calendar year 2008. Two additional local projects were implemented to further promote drinking water conservation, reduce water usage and reduce water loss, including: low-flow toilet retrofit rebates and pilot community water audits. The toilet grant provided a direct incentive for local communities to purchase/install low-flow (1.6 gallon per flush or less) toilets or toilet flush valves in municipal buildings to replace less efficient toilets that use a larger water volume per flush. For each eligible toilet retrofit (in city/town halls, public works buildings, schools, housing authorities, etc.) the community received a $100 rebate from MWRA. The project was a success with a total of 351 low-flow toilet retrofits installed in a total of ten communities. To promote the benefits of municipal water audits, Quincy and Somerville were selected (via lottery) as partners with MWRA. Pilot water audits were conducted to balance the volume of water purchased from MWRA (wholesale purchase) with the volume billed (retail sales) and account for the remainder of non-billed water volume. The intent of a municipal water audit project is to help the community to identify water system improvements and to minimize its non-billed and unaccounted-for water (UAW).

Final MWRA Water Conservation Grant Project Report (PDF)

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INDUSTRIAL, COMMERCIAL AND INSTITUTIONAL WATER MANAGEMENT

MWRA's Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) Water Management program was developed to help businesses, industries, and institutions improve their water efficiency.  During the early 1990s, MWRA conducted numerous ICI water use surveys that produced specific water efficiency plans.  Information developed from these surveys was used to develop the sector specific reports and case studies (see links below) that provide practical, cost-effective, techniques to conserve water.  Although MWRA no longer conducts water use surveys for individual businesses, this service is widely available through water/energy audit consultants.

Reports
Water Efficiency for Athletic Facilities, Schools and Colleges
Water Efficiency for Commercial Buildings
Water Efficiency for Hospitals
Water Efficiency for Restaurants
Case Studies
Norwood Hospital, Norwood, Massachusetts
MicroSemi USPD Inc., Watertown Massachusetts

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EPA's WATERSENSE® PROGRAM PARTNERSHIP

The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority has teamed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense program to help consumers save water for future generations and reduce costs on their utility bills.

WaterSense aims to decrease indoor and outdoor water use through water-efficient products and simple water-saving practices. The program encourages customers to look for WaterSense labeled products, which have been independently certified for efficiency and performance, and promotes water-saving techniques that reduce stress on water systems and the environment.

“The goal of EPA’s WaterSense program is to help Americans save water and money by offering simple ways to reduce water use though water-efficient product choices,” says Sheila Frace, Director of the EPA Office of Water’s Municipal Support Division. “Using water more efficiently can help delay the need to create more supplies, saving communities money and resources, as well as ensuring that water will be available for future generations.”

WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, seeks to protect the future of our nation's water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water. For more information on WaterSense, and for a full list of labeled products and WaterSense irrigation partners, visit <www.epa.gov/watersense>.

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LINKS

Check out our list of web sites that provide more information about water conservation in Massachusetts and across the United States.

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Updated March 26, 2014

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