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January 22, 2024

Save Money By Applying for Reduced “Flow Factor”

San Francisco Garden

Do you have an irrigation system and are interested in saving money on your increasingly expensive San Francisco water bill? Consider applying for a reduced “flow factor.”

A big part of your water bill as a homeowner in San Francisco is the wastewater service charge that covers the cost of collecting, transporting, treating and disposing of each unit of wastewater discharged into the sewer system. The Water Department figures this out by multiplying your water consumption by an assigned “flow factor.”

The flow factor is the amount of water you use that’s actually returned to the sewer system as wastewater. The Water Department assumes the flow factor to be 90% for single-family homes and 95% for multi-unit buildings.

But you may be eligible to reduce the flow factor—and save significant money on your water bills—if you have an irrigation system on your property.

I filed an appeal several years ago, and a Water Department rep visited my house to measure the yard and determine what percentage of water was being used by my irrigation system. We were able to cut the flow factor from 95% to 64%, translating into measurable savings.

So give it a shot. Who doesn’t want to save money these days? You can find more details here, where you can scroll down to “What does flow factor mean and what is a flow factor appeal?” section. You’ll see the process to follow so you can get started.

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