Water Use Efficiency Test

Kid Having Fun

Water is a precious, limited resource. In the Pacific Northwest, drinking water for our growing population competes with other users that include agriculture, industry, recreation, and maintaining an adequate stream flow for fish. 

To ensure a safe and reliable supply of drinking water to meet current and future needs the City of Monroe is working with the Washington Department of Health to implement a water use efficiency program.

The City of Monroe helps prevent potential health and sanitation risks to their customers by effectively planning and implementing water use efficiency (WUE) measures. This means fewer emergencies when water supplies are scarce, especially during summer months when it rains less and user demands are high.

Background Information

Water Fountain

About the Water Use Efficiency Rule

When the Washington State Legislature passed the 2003 Municipal Water Law (MWL) to reform the state’s water laws, it accomplished two things:

  1. Added flexibility in the use of municipal water rights to serve growing communities by eliminating some of the risk of losing those municipal rights to the state.

  2. In exchange for this water right flexibility, the law requires municipalities to use water efficiently.

What are the requirements?

WUE requirements can be found in WAC 246-290 and in the May 2016 Revised Third Edition of the Guidebook (PDF). To summarize, municipal water suppliers must:

  • Publicly establish water savings goals for their customers.

  • Evaluate or implement specific water saving measures to achieve customer-based goals.

  • Develop a WUE planning program to support the established goals.

  • Install meters on all customer connections by January 22, 2017.

  • Achieve a standard of no more than 10% water loss.

  • Report annually on progress towards achieving these goals.

What does the Water Use Efficiency Rule achieve?

  • Using water efficiently helps water systems protect against:

  • Temporary water service interruptions during peak usage.

  • Long-term or repeated water disruptions due to limited water supply.

  • Contamination of the water supply due to leaky pipes.

The WUE requirements also:

  • Help ensure reliable long-term water supplies.

  • Promote good stewardship of the state’s water resources.

  • Ensure efficient operation and management of water systems.

  • Reduce energy use and save money.

Who is affected?

Any Group A community water system that serves at least 15 residential service connections must comply with the Water Use Efficiency Rule, whether publicly or privately owned.

Regional Goal

 The City of Monroe has co-adopted a regional goal as part of the group of Everett Water wholesale customers.The regional conservation goal is to reduce the regional demand for water by 1.4 MGD  by 2029.

 Monroe’s Goal

The City of Monroe has been an instrumental part of contributing to the regional goal by staying under 8.5% leakage for the last 5 years.  The goal is to maintain this level through 2025.

Proposed Measures

  1. Water System Leak Detection

  2. Conservation education program developed for 2nd – 12th graders

  3. Indoor and outdoor water conservation kits for single and multi-family homes

  4. Rainwater harvesting for City water-use vehicles

  5. Reclaimed water-use at the City’s WWTP

  6. Tracking and notifying customers of water leaks that are over 2cf/hour

Have Questions or Suggestion? Email John Lande.