Water Use Efficiency For Businesses

Sonoma Water works closely with the Sonoma County Economic Development Board (EDB) and County of Sonoma, General Services, to provide information and programs on water use efficiency to businesses in our service area. Conserving water can help increase profits by reducing overhead costs. Contact the EDB at (707) 565-7170 or General Services at (707) 565-6455 for more information.

Large Landscape Water Use Survey

Do you have wet, soggy grass in some areas and dry dead grass in others? High water bills?  Your property needs a FREE Large Landscape Water Use Survey. Find out how efficient your landscape is to see where all the water, and money, is going. A survey will provide a full report and analysis of your landscape irrigation system and water usage so you can make informed decisions on how to manage your property. Contact the Sonoma County Green Business Program at (707) 565-6455.

Business Water-Use Evaluations

Get a no-cost water use evaluation with a comprehensive report and recommendations to increase your bottom line. Sonoma Water partners with your local water provider and the Green Business Program to provide comprehensive water use evaluations for all types of businesses from offices to manufacturing. Visit the Green Business website or call (707) 565-6455.

Green Business

Get recognized as a Green Business through the Sonoma County Green Business Program. The Sonoma Green Business Program is a free service that distinguishes businesses that protect, preserve and sustain our environment. Our partnership of government agencies and utilities helps local businesses comply with all environmental regulations and take actions to conserve resources, prevent pollution, and support their bottom line. In Sonoma County, visit the Green Business website or call (707) 565-6455. In Marin County, call (415) 499-3292.

Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper

Does your landscaper know how to keep your landscape looking great while saving you water and money? Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) training is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency WaterSense approved training program for landscapers. It provides an educational foundation based on principals of proper plant selection for the local climate, irrigation system design and maintenance, and irrigation system programming and operation. To learn more about QWEL and to find a QWEL trained landscaper, visit the QWEL website.

Rebates and Programs from Your Local Water Provider

Contact your water provider for more information about water conservation programs in your area!

City of Santa Rosa
(707) 543-3985

Town of Windsor
(707) 838-1004

Marin Water
(415) 945-1520

City of Cotati
(707) 665-3631

City of Sonoma
(707) 933-2247

City of Healdsburg
(707) 431-3122

City of Rohnert Park
(707) 585-6750

Valley of the Moon Water District
(707) 996-1037

City of Petaluma
(707) 778-4546

North Marin Water District
(415) 897-4133

California American Water - Larkfield
(707) 542-8329

Sanitation District Rebates

In addition to the conservation incentives offered by your local water provider, you may be eligible for rebates and programs offered by your participating sanitation district.

Water Conservation Checklist for Your Business


  • How much water is your business using now, and for what purpose? Take inventory of your water history and past plumbing maintenance.
  • Determine flow rates on all water fixtures and devices.
  • How much does your business pay for water?
  • Do you know how to read your water meter?
  • Are all of your employees aware of the goal to conserve water?
  • Is there an internal office contact person for water use questions for other employees?
  • How will employees know when they've been successful in conserving water?

Finding Leaks

  • Monitor daily usage and notice sudden spikes in usage.
  • One way to detect leaks is to shut down all water using facilities for some time period and read the water meter before and after. Did the reading change at all?
  • Are there dripping faucets, toilet tanks that don't seal, or leaking hoses? Toilet tanks can be checked with a few drops of food coloring placed in the tank of the toilet. After 15 minutes without flushing, does any color show up in the bowl?
  • Also check the water level in your toilet's tank. In a standard toilet, the water level should be one inch below the overflow tube. If the water is overflowing into the tube, try to set reset the water level according to manufacturer's specifications. If the valve fails to shut off, your fill valve should be replaced.

Eliminating Unnecessary Use

  • Is water being used in places where it is not needed?
  • Which tasks could be readily accomplished with less water? For example, could floors be swept instead of hosed down?
  • Does water from sprinkler systems reach the plants that needs it, or does much of it evaporate in the air or run off? Evaporation is especially high for sprinklers that make small droplets, spray high into the air, and operate during the hottest part of the day.
  • Are some plants getting more water than they need?
  • Could drought-resistant landscaping provide an equally appealing look?

Installing Efficient Equipment

Which of the following might be feasibly installed in your business:

  • Bathroom, kitchen faucet aerators
  • Low-flow showerheads
  • On-off valves on showerheads or hoses
  • Ultra high efficiency toilets and urinals
  • Water efficient chillers
  • High efficiency washing machines
  • Water efficient commercial dishwasher
  • Air-cooled ice machines
  • Low- flow pre-rinse spray valves for food service operators