The Low-Water Rebate Program
Save Some Money

We’ve received a lot of feedback regarding the application package for single-family homes and condominiums. Based on everything you told us, we’ve updated the residential application to make it much, much simpler. Click here to obtain a copy of the new and improved residential application.

One of the key principles of the revenue program is that every discharger should pay in proportion to his or her use of the system. As discussed under the Revenue Program, practical considerations make it impossible to meter every user’s discharge. Consequently, we estimate your discharge based on standard loading factors that correspond to the type(s) of facilities on your parcel. We recognize that you may have taken steps to conserve water (for which you should be applauded) and that your actual discharge may be significantly less than what we estimated. If that’s your case, the low-water rebate program was designed just for you; it allows low-water users to apply for a reduced service charge.

To make it as simple as possible, we’ve prepared a list of frequently asked questions that hopefully answer all the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the program. Of course, if you have more questions, we’re always here to answer them. Just click on the "How do I get more information" question to find out how to contact us.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How does the program work?
How do I know if I qualify?
How much of a rebate can I get?
How do I apply?
Where can I get an application package?
Do I really need to fill out all that paper work?
Do I have to use an agent to apply?
When do I have to apply?
What happens if I miss the March 31 deadline?
How often do I need to apply?
Why should I lock-in my commercial rebate for five years?
How do you account for irrigation?
What if I can’t get water use from my shopping center or regional mall tenants?
How do I get more information?

How does the program work?

Simplistically, you fill out an application package, attach copies of your water bills, and mail it to us. We’ll evaluate your water use and, if you’re below the threshold for your parcel, you’ll qualify for the reduced charge. We’ll do the rest to make sure you receive any rebates for which you may be due and to have the lower charge placed on future bills.

How do I know if I qualify?

Get copies of your water bills for the last fiscal year (July – June). Calculate the average daily flow for the whole year and for the winter months (typically November through February). Use the smaller number. If it’s less than or equal to one of the following, you will qualify (with limited exceptions) for a reduced charge

  • Single-family home – 0.26 hundred cubic feet
  • Condominium – 0.2 hundred cubic feet
  • Commercial parcels – Your Proposition 218 notice provided the threshold

Note: Multi-unit residential facilities are not eligible for a reduced charge as they are already being charged at the lowest available rate on a per unit basis. Likewise, commercial parcels with only 1 sewage unit (this number is available on your Prop. 218 notice) are already being charged at the minimum and, thus, are not eligible.

How much of a rebate can I get?

A single-family home with an average daily flow between 0.26 hundred cubic feet (HCF) and 0.20 HCF can qualify for a 25% reduction. With an average daily flow of less than or equal to 0.20 HCF, a single-family home can qualify for a 40% reduction.

A condo with an average daily flow of less 0.2 HCF can qualify for a 25% rebate.

Commercial parcels have a tiered structured that is based on the ratio of your average daily flow (see the question “How do I know if I qualify” for how to determine this number) to the threshold value for your parcel (which was provided in your Prop. 218 notice).

Your Average Daily Flow ÷
Your Threshold Value

Your
Reduction

90% or greater

0

70% to 89%

20%

50 to 69%

40%

30 to 49%

60%

29% or less

80%


Note:

If the percentage reduction would put you below 1 sewage unit, you will be charged for 1 sewage unit (which is the minimum charge).

How do I apply?

Residential customers, file a Residential Low-Water Rebate/Reduction in Service Charge Application. Commercial customers and condo customers without individual water meters, file an Application for Refund or Rebate and Reduction of Service Charge. Please review the instructions and use the check list on page 4 of the application package to ensure you include all necessary paperwork. If you have any questions, need help filling out the application, or just want to be sure you’ve included everything, feel free to call our customer service group at (562) 908-4288, extension 2727 or toll-free at (800) 426-7414, extension 2727.

Where can I get an application package?

Residential customers can click on the link for Residential Low-Water Rebate/Reduction in Service Charge Application and commercial customers can click on the link for an Application for Refund or Rebate and Reduction of Service Charge to download the application package on-line. If you are unable to download the application package, call our customer service group at (562) 908-4288, extension 2727 or toll-free at (800) 426-7414, extension 2727 and we will mail you a copy.

Do I really need to fill out all that paper work?

Not necessarily. Some of the paperwork is only required if you opt to have an agent file the application on your behalf. If you are filing the application yourself and not using an agent, you may omit those pages. The added pages related to agents helps protect your interests from third parties that may or may not actually represent you.

Do I have to use an agent to apply?

No, there is absolutely no requirement to use an agent. We’ve been working hard to make the low-water rebate program more customer friendly so that you can do everything by yourself. But, if you do have any problems filling out the application package, please call us at (562) 908-4288, extension 2727 or toll-free at (800) 426-7414, extension 2727 and we’ll walk you through the process.

When do I have to apply?

We don’t want you to pay any more than you should or have to wait until the end of the year to get your money back. That’s bad for your business and bad for your cash flow. Thus, to help ensure that you get any reduced charge for which you’re eligible prior to the start of the billing cycle, applications should be submitted to us no later than March 31. We recognize that, for this year, many of you are just hearing about the low-water rebate program for the first time as a result of the Prop. 218 notice and that the March 31 deadline may not be practical. Thus, for any applications received between April 1 and May 15, 2014, we will work to get the reduced charge entered into the billing system prior to the issuance of the bills. If we are not able to that, we will work with the County Assessor’s Office to issue corrected tax bills prior to the December deadline for payment of the first installment.

What happens if I miss the March 31 deadline?

Don’t panic. You can still receive a reduced charge. Depending on when we actually receive the application package, we will still try to issue the reduced charge prior to bills being mailed. If we can’t meet that goal, you’ll be billed the full charge and be required to pay the full amount. At the end of the fiscal year, you will be issued a rebate for the difference between the full charge and the reduced amount. This means you will be made whole, but will have lost the use of those funds for up to full year. Thus, it’s to your benefit to submit the application package prior to the March 31 deadline. However, as of July 1, 2015, you must submit an application for a reduced charge within one year of the close of the fiscal year for which you were billed.

How often do I need to apply?

For single-family homes and condominiums, once you qualify, the reduced rate will stay in effect until you sell your property. You don’t need to re-apply.

For commercial parcels, when you qualify for a rebate for the most recent fiscal year, we will automatically process a rebate for the current year and a reduction for the subsequent fiscal year. If you submit three years of water consumption data, qualify for a rebate, and your water consumption over the three-year period hasn’t varied by more than 25%, you’ll be eligible to be locked-in for a reduced rate for five years.

Why should I lock-in my commercial rebate for five years?

You’ll save yourself a lot of time and paperwork. Unless your flow fluctuates significantly from year to year, there is no real advantage to opting out of the five year lock-in. Given the use of tiers for rebates, you will most likely pay the same service charge over time whether you lock-in or submit annually. The downside of not locking in is that you must then process paperwork every year. However, if you believe you will drop from one tier to the next, you may want to opt-out of the lock-in. Of course, the risk is that, if your flow goes up, you could rise from one tier to the next and receive a smaller reduction, or possibly no reduction.

How do you account for irrigation?

Our goal is to only charge you for water than goes down the drain, not for water that’s used for irrigation. Ideally, every parcel would have its own sewage meter. However, the cost of installing and maintaining those meters is so overly expensive as to make that idea impractical. You might be able to install a dedicated irrigation/landscape water meter and if you do, we won’t include that water in our rebate calculation. Again, we understand that it is not cost effective for all customers to install dedicated irrigation/landscape water meters, so we have another option. To account for irrigation, we evaluate both annual water use and water use during the typical low irrigation months of November through February. We use the smaller of the two water uses to determine the low-water rebate.

What if I can’t get water use from my shopping center or regional mall tenants?

After July 1, 2015, owners of shopping centers and regional malls are required to submit water use data in order to be eligible for a reduced rate. Use our standard Application for Refund or Rebate and Reduction of Service Charge to file for a rebate.

Previously, the owner of a shopping center or regional mall who certifies the water consumption data cannot be obtained from the individual tenants and from the water purveyor could have submitted an application for a rebate based on tenant use. Upon submittal of a certified tenant list and additional documentation, a revised charge would be then calculated based on the individual uses of each tenant.  This option is no longer available as of July 1, 2015.

How do I get more information?

Call us at : (562) 908-4288, extension 2727
(800) 426-7414, extension 2727 (toll free).

Mail us at: Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County
Service Charge Program
P.O. Box 4000
Whittier, CA 90607-4000

Email Us at: rates@lacsd.org

Visit us at: Sanitation Districts’ Office
Service Charge Program – Room 104
1955 Workman Mill Road
Whittier, CA 90601
7:30 am to 4 pm weekdays
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