San Francisco PUC offers free consultation to help customers save water – CBS San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) – The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SF PUC) is offering a free service to water customers in an effort to help them conserve water and, therefore, money.

“We want to make sure customers save as much water and money as possible,” said Andrew Ho, a technician with SF PUC.

During a Water Wise assessment, a technician will inspect a home or property to help adjust water systems and ensure the client is able to conserve effectively.

“This is a free service open to any home, business, resident or property that pays us a bill or is in our retail service area,” said Julie Ortiz, conservation manager of the water for the SF PUC. “Our technician will walk with the owner and take a look at his plants, his irrigation and point out potential ways to save water.”

Despite stored water levels close to normal for this time of year, Ortiz says they need to plan ahead.

“We’re pretty much at the end of the water year and we’re not looking at much so it’s been a very dry year, despite those winter rains. And again – in California – the cyclical drought is just one drought ending and another around the corner. It’s really just a way of life here,” Ortiz said.

On April 1, SF PUC water customers will begin to see a 5% drought surcharge on their bills.

“This is a drought surcharge because it is effective when we have implemented our water shortage emergency. It was built into our rates to help us recoup lost sales revenue that declines during a drought,” Ortiz said. “We don’t make any profit from it. It’s just to recover the cost. This is temporary and when we are able to lift the water shortage emergency call, the surcharge will also be lifted.

San Francisco resident Peter Monks (left) listens to an SF PUC technician advise him on his watering plan. (SCS)

KPIX spoke with San Francisco owner Peter Monks, who took part in a Water Wise assessment. He explained that his main motivation for refining his conservation strategy is not a question of money.

“That’s hardly the point. It’s really about saving something that we can no longer get. There is no magic, press a button and we get more fresh water in the state. We just got what we got,” Monks said.

WEB LINK: SF PUC Conserve water

Christy J. Olson