Due to cyclical droughts in California and the escalating cost of water, condominium associations need to conserve water. According to recent estimates, an average household's leaks can account for more than 10,000
gallons of water wasted every year. Common
leaks are from worn toilet flappers and leaky faucets. A
faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste
more than 3,000 gallons per year.
Water conservation is particularly difficult for master metered developments because they have no control over water usage by members inside their units. Unless the governing documents provide otherwise, faucets
plumbing fixtures located inside a condominium are the
property of the unit owner and must be maintained by that owner. Boards
can, however, hire a plumber at HOA expense to inspect all units in the
complex for water leaks.
If done properly, they can make a complete list of
leaky faucets, valves, supply lines, drains, toilets, shower heads, etc.
throughout the development. The list should also include units that need
water-saving devices. Arrangements can then be made to make repairs,
change toilets and install water-saving devices at a discounted rate to
owners if they agree to the repairs. For those who refuse, boards can
hold hearings, impose fines, and send lawyer letters to persuade them
Boards should meet with plumbers, legal counsel and management to set
up an inspection/repair program for all plumbing in the development
along with retrofitting with low-water devices.
: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us
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