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La Mesa Village Community Reduces Water and Energy Usage

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, more than 37 million people are affected by the ongoing drought in California. And with more than 98 percent of the state enduring moderate or worse drought conditions, local property managers are taking innovative measures to help communities reduce water consumption and increase awareness of sustainable practices statewide.

In October 2014, property management company Monterey Bay Military Housing partnered with Sustain-Ability Solutions, a leader in maximizing water conservation efforts, to upgrade its 708-unit La Mesa Village Community with all- new, high-efficiency kitchen and bath plumbing fixtures from Niagara Conservation with no upfront costs. Together, Monterey Bay Military Housing and Sustain-Ability Solutions provided La Mesa Village residents with drastically lowered utility bills and reduced maintenance issues. “We are dedicated to offering multi-unit operators with seamless water-conservation solutions,” said Ed Fowlkes, operations manager for Sustain-Ability Solutions. “By teaming up with Monterey Bay Military Housing, we are making major strides in emphasizing sustainable practices within the home and encouraging proper care of a scarce resource not only in California but also nationwide.”

The retrofit for La Mesa Village Community began in October 2014, and in fewer than 30 days, UHET  Water-Saving Kits from Niagara Conservation were installed throughout the 708-unit property. Backed by a 10-year warranty, the three-part kit includes the 0.8 gallons per flush (GPF) Stealth toilet (pictured), Earth Massage 1.5 gallon per minute (GPM) showerhead and a 1.0 GPM aerator for both the kitchen and bathroom faucets, according to Niagara Conservation.

Ultra-high-efficiency 0.8 GPF Stealth toilets were installed to replace the older 1.6 GPF toilets previously found on the property. With every flush, the EPA WaterSense-certified Stealth toilet forces air down a transfer tube and into the trapway, which allows for a quiet yet powerful suction that ensures all waste in the toilet bowl is cleared out and flows fully into the sewer system, according to the company. Monterey Peninsula Water Management District helped fund the retrofit by providing property managers rebates for every toilet installation.

In addition, the high-efficiency, high-powered Earth Massage 1.5 GPM showerhead, which uses up to 40 percent less water than other “low-flow” showerheads, replaced the property’s less efficient 2.5 GPM showerheads. Also, since faucets can account for nearly 16 percent of an average household’s daily water consumption, the 1.0 GPM kitchen and bath aerators completed the water saving package, replacing standard 2.2 GPM kitchen and bath aerators. According to Adrian Jimenez, operations manager for Monterey Bay Military Housing, La Mesa Village Community saved 1,113,500 gallons of water in January 2015 when compared to January 2014 — more than one million gallons of water in one month.

Notable savings continue in 2015 with a utility bill detailing water usage over a 35-day period, from Feb. 19 to March 25, 2015. The bill indicated 1,146,983 gallons of water were saved as a result of the retrofits compared to a utility bill covering the same time period in 2014.

“The installation of Niagara Conservation’s high-efficiency plumbing fixtures has been nothing but well received by our residents in the La Mesa Village Community,” noted Jimenez. “Each retrofit was completed with the utmost professionalism and ease thanks to the team at Sustain-Ability Solutions, and since the project’s completion last November, we have not only seen remarkable reductions in water usage within each unit of the community, but we also have received zero complaints from our residents.” Located on the Monterey Peninsula, Monterey Bay Military Housing offers two-, three- and four-bedroom homes to military families and single service members. Beginning in 2003, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy, and two private companies combined forces to create a public-private venture and began an exciting project to renew and rebuild the military communities on the Monterey Peninsula.

Sustain-Ability Solutions, one of the largest installers of water conservation technology products in the country, partners with public and private sector managers, from apartment communities to hotels, and helps to design and implement efforts to control rising utility costs.