Commercial Conservation

San Francisco Commercial Water Conservation Ordinance
Replace old plumbing fixtures. It’s the law!

Deadline for Compliance January 1, 2017

Click here for the Conservation Compliance Affidavit (English) (Chinese) (Spanish)

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions About Commercial Conservation Ordinance Compliance


Commerical BuildingReplacing old, water-wasting plumbing fixtures with new efficient models is one of the most important steps to help conserve and protect California’s water supplies. Several state and local measures require property owners to install water-conserving plumbing fixtures. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and Department of Building Inspection (DBI) are partnering to provide information to building owners on the local water-efficiency ordinance affecting San Francisco commercial properties and how to comply with requirements



How to Comply

Forms & Handouts


Water Conservation Requirements 

Need to replace a non-compliant
plumbing fixture?

When you are replacing a non-compliant plumbing fixture, you will need to install new plumbing fixtures that meet the following water use rates, as required by current California plumbing code.

  • Showerheads ≤ 2.0 gpm
  • Residential kitchen faucet aerators ≤1.8 gpm
  • Residential lavatory faucet aerators ≤1.2 gpm
  • Commercial/public lavatory faucets ≤ 0.5 gpm
  • Toilets ≤ 1.28 gpf • Urinals ≤ 0.125 gpf 

The Commercial Water Conservation Ordinance found in San Francisco Building Code, Chapter 13A applies to all existing commercial properties. This ordinance requires commercial building owners to repair plumbing leaks, replace inefficient plumbing fixtures, and submit a completed Commercial Water Conservation Affidavit to DBI by January 1, 2017 that verifies all plumbing fixtures are compliant.  

By January 1, 2017, all existing commercial properties in San Francisco must have replaced noncompliant plumbing fixtures that exceed the maximum water use rates below to meet  water efficiency requirements in SFBC Chapter 13A.

  • All showerheads must not exceed a maximum flow of 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm)
  • All faucets and faucet aerators must not exceed  a maximum flow rate of 2.2 gpm
  • All toilets must not exceed a maximum rated water consumption of 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf)
  • All urinals must not exceed  a maximum flow rate of 1.0 gpf
  • All water leaks have been repaired


How to Comply

To comply, commercial property owners or an authorized representative shall conduct a water conservation inspection to verify all plumbing fixtures in their buildings meet the requirements above and submit to DBI a Commercial Water Conservation Affidavit on or before January 1, 2017. All noncompliant fixtures must be replaced before completing the affidavit. Failure to submit an affidavit by the deadline or submitting an affidavit with inaccurate information will result in DBI initiating code enforcement proceedings, which may include monetary penalties and a lien on the property. 

Submit a completed affidavit by mail or in-person to DBI’s Commercial Water Conservation Ordinance, 49 South Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94103 or by email to For more information, contact the DBI Plumbing Inspection Division at (628) 652-3450 or visit at

Forms & Handouts


  • Commercial Conservation FAQ
  • FREE Water-Wise Evaluations – SFPUC conservation technicians help identify plumbing fixtures that do not meet requirements, and provide FREE high-efficiency showerheads, and aerators, and toilet leak repair parts.
  • To learn more about free water conservation services, visit: or call (415) 551-4730.