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California Imposes Tough New Rules For Efficient Toilets, Faucets

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – State officials took emergency action on the drought Wednesday, imposing tough new standards for toilets, urinals and faucets sold in California starting January 1st.

In an unprecedented move by the California Energy Commission, made possible by the Gov. Jerry Brown's executive action last week, retailers won't be allowed to sell any of their remaining less efficient models after that date.

• RELATED: Northern California Woman Uses Toilet Tank Sink To Save Water During Drought

The CEC said the new standards will save 100 billion gallons of water per year, equivalent to three times the annual water use of San Francisco.

The Natural Resource Defense Council said what is good for the environment is also ultimately good for the pocketbook.

"Consumers are going to save a lot of money on their water bill. In fact at their water bill is likely higher than their energy bill and these rates are going up fast," Noah Horowitz of the NRDC told KPIX 5.

Under the new mandatory standards, even more efficient than the EPA's voluntary ones, toilets sold in the state can't use more than 1.28 gallons per flush. Current low flow toilets use 1.6 gallons.

For faucets, ones in the bathroom will be cut to 1.2 gallons per minute, the current standard is 2.2 gallons. Kitchen faucets can't exceed 1.8 gallons per minute, with the exception of momentary increases to fill pots and pans.

Only about half of the residential toilets and faucets sold in the state, currently meet the new standard.

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