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PAWSD 2010 rebate programs kick off

Are you thinking of replacing your washing machine or toilet? Are you looking for an easy way to save money and reduce your water footprint, year after year? Are you searching for a way to celebrate Earth Day on April 22?

You can do all of this by participating in the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District’s 2010 high efficiency toilet or washing machine rebate program. That’s right, PAWSD will pay you to replace your old, water-wasting fixtures. But, that’s not all.

The greatest water resource we have is the water we unnecessarily waste every day. Saving this water not only reduces your water bill, it reduces district water treatment costs and wear and tear on district infrastructure. This, in turn, keeps service charges down and extends the need to build new or expanded facilities. It also keeps water in the source (rivers and lakes), which is good for the environment.

From 2004 through 2009, the high efficiency toilet and washer rebate programs collectively saved the district and its participating customers over 16,218,000 gallons, or 50 acre-feet of water, which translates into a savings of nearly $200,000 in avoided treatment costs. In 2009, customers who used the toilet rebate program saved an average of 18,600 gallons per household while those who participated in the washer rebate program saved 6,100 gallons of water.

Ready to play? Participation in the program is simple, but is limited to residential or commercial PAWSD water customers with current and non-delinquent account(s).

The primary rules are that a new, high efficiency fixture must replace a low efficiency fixture. High efficiency toilets are defined as toilets that use 1.28 gallons per flush (gpf) or less and must replace existing toilets using 1.6 gpf or more. The high-efficiency clothes washer must replace an existing clothes washer using more than 27 gallons of water per load. The old toilet must be returned to the PAWSD facility at 100 Lyn Ave. for disposal or the participant must provide proof of proper disposal. Participants in the washer rebate must properly dispose of old clothes washers with the dealer or at the PAWSD facility, or provide proof of proper disposal. Proof of proper disposal ensures that water wasting fixtures are permanently removed from future use.

Unsure about the water use of your current fixtures? A couple rules of thumb are that, generally, homes built before 1994 have higher than 1.6 gpf toilets and, generally, most clothes washers built prior to 1990 have higher than 27 gallons per load water use. Also, the vast majority of top-loading washing machines use more than 27 gallons per load.

Rebates are offered on a first-come, first-served basis and are subject to availability of funds. To ensure a rebate, check with PAWSD before you make a purchase. High efficiency washing machines qualify for a $125 rebate. Toilets that use 1.28 gallons per flush or less qualify for $75 and if it is a dual flush, power flush, or flapperless model, it qualifies for $125 rebate. The program applies to products purchased from Jan. 1, 2010, through Dec. 15, 2010.

Interested customers are encouraged to visit the Conservation page of the PAWSD Web site at www.pawsd.org. Here you will find general program information, 2009 program results and 2010 applications. Customers can call water conservation coordinator Mat deGraaf for further information or with inquiries.