Water conservation required in the home now

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A seven-year old law went into effect on Jan. 1, 2017. Senate Bill 407, enacted in October 2009, requires residential and commercial property built before Jan. 1, 1994, to ensure plumbing fixtures conserve water.

Residential properties, single and multiple family properties, need to be in compliance by Jan. 1, 2017. The requirement applies now, and is independent of when or if the property is sold.

Current law already requires that all noncompliant fixtures be replaced as a condition of issuance of a certificate of final approval of any building alterations or improvements to single family residential real property.

When these properties are sold, the seller must disclose and specify to the buyer the plumbing fixtures and whether they have been replaced to meet the new requirements.

The requirement is disclosure of whether plumbing fixtures meet or exceed the water conserving standard. Neither agents nor brokers are required to ensure that the sellers and buyers install the required conservation equipment.

Local real estate broker Marge Muir said at least two potential sales have failed once the disclosure was made to the buyers.

Noncompliant fixtures, which must be disclosed, are defined in the act and listed in the accompanying box.

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