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Water Conservation

Toilet Rebate Program Discontinued Effective November 1, 2021

Since 2010, The City's local toilet rebate program has assisted residents and businesses in replacing over 600 older, water guzzling toilets with more water efficient units. The City's rebate program will come to an end effective November 1, 2021. All completed rebate forms must be submitted to the City's Water Conservation Division prior to November 1, 2021. Regional toilet rebates, as well as other water-saving device rebates, will continue to be available through the Municipal Water District of Orange County at 

Drought Information

On October 19, 2021, Governor Newsom declared a drought emergency for all counties in the state. While water conservation continues to be a California Way of Life and Orange County has distinguished itself as a leader in water use efficiency, residents are asked to abide by the year-round measures stated below to avoid water waste and voluntarily reduce their water use by 15 percent from their 2020 water use levels. Through water saving programs and simple lifestyle changes, you can make a difference. During these dry conditions, let's all continue to do our part to use water wisely. To learn more about available rebates and programs to help reduce daily water use, please review the additional information on this page. 

To report water waste, broken pipes, hydrants, manhole covers, or sprinklers or any water or sewer emergency after hours please call the Utilities Department duty man at 949-842-2624.

To report water waste during business hours, please call our office at 949-234-4400.  If you would rather report this online, click HERE and fill out the reporting form for City crews to investigate. Please provide as much information as possible about the event, with a specific place and time, this will assist crews in locating the problem quickly. Photos are always appreciated, and you can email them to

The following activities or measures are in effect year-round to avoid water waste:

Lawn watering and landscape irrigation.

1. No irrigation of turf (lawn) in street medians.

2. No irrigation during rain or within 48 hours after rain.

3. Automatic sprinklers to be set to run before 9AM or after 6PM. No outdoor watering during the day other than for the purpose of installing, repairing, or routine maintenance of the irrigation system.

Swimming pools.  Shall not be emptied and refilled except to prevent or repair structural damage or comply with public health regulations.  All pools and spas shall be equipped with a water recirculation device.

Runoff to street. Runoff to the street is prohibited. This includes water from any hose, pipe, valve, faucet, sprinkler, or irrigation device into any storm water drainage system, drain, gutter or street.  Routinely monitor and adjust irrigation systems to eliminate overspray.

Residential car washing. Using a hose to wash a motor vehicle is prohibited unless the hose is fitted with a shutoff nozzle. As much as possible direct runoff to planted areas.

Pavement/surface washing. Water shall not be used to wash down sidewalks, driveways, parking areas, tennis courts, patios or other paved areas except to alleviate immediate fire or sanitation hazards.  Use a broom or brush for routine cleaning.

Cleaning of structures. Cleaning of structures, using water from a hose including pressure washing, shall be prohibited unless equipped with a shut off nozzle.

Leaks. Any owner, manager, or person responsible for the day-to-day operation of any premises shall, within twenty four (24) hours of being notified, initiate repairs of leaks, breaks, or defects, initiate steps to repair any leaking, broken or defective water pipes, faucets, plumbing fixtures, other water service appliances, sprinklers, watering or irrigation systems, or distribution systems which cause or may cause water waste or runoff, and shall thereafter diligently and promptly pursue such repair work to completion within a reasonable time, as determined by the City Manager or his/her designee, unless a variance is obtained from the City.

Restaurants and Hotel/Motel. Restaurants shall serve drinking water upon request only. Hotel and motel guests shall be given the option to reuse towels and linens rather than having them laundered daily.

Lakes, ponds, fountains, and other water features. The operation of any ornamental fountain or similar structure is prohibited unless the water is recirculated.


Make water conservation a way of life! Californians on average use 30-60% of their water outdoors. Focus water-efficiency efforts to save water by managing your landscape with such things as drought resistant plants, sustainable gardening practices and careful application of irrigation water.

Take advantage of the generous REBATES available to upgrade appliances to water-efficient models. Save water and money!

The top tips for saving water are:

Watch the watering schedule! More water is wasted in sprinkler systems than anywhere else. Water your lawn 1 to 2 days a week and save up to 840 gallons per week.

Check your toilets for leaks! Sneaky plumbing malfunctions can waste hundreds of gallons a day. Replace worn flappers to avoid water loss.

Run the clothes washer and dishwasher only when they are full. Wash only full loads of laundry and dishes and save up to 50 gallons per week.
Watch the running water – turn off water features unless they recirculate.

Turn water off while brushing teeth and shaving and save up to 2.5 gallons per minute.

Wash vehicles using as little water as possible and use a shut off nozzle.

Repair plumbing and sprinklers promptly; ensure water runoff isn't leaving your yard and save up to 20 gallons per day.

Clean paved surfaces and structures using a broom.

Pool covers reduce evaporation by 90%, limit windblown debris, and conserve energy. Cover your pool and spa and save up to 281 gallons per week.

Turn off the pool automatic fill valve.

More information on saving water can be found HERE.


Transforming your yard from grass to gorgeous takes a little know-how, contact Ed Hooper, City of San Juan Conservation, should you have any questions, at 949-487-4304 or email

Local San Juan Capistrano toilet replacement incentive to replace toilets older than 1993 (inspection required before replacement) – call (949) 234-4400 to make an appointment. This program will discontinue effective November 1, 2021. Information for this program and paperwork is located HERE.

Regional rebate information: (indoor and outdoor efficiency upgrades)

To learn easy, practical ways to save water, visit:

California friendly and drought tolerant plants:

Click HERE for a plant catalog of California friendly and drought tolerant plants.

Click HERE to explore beautiful, sustainable, climate-appropriate, drought-tolerant plants, trees, and grass that thrive in Orange County and add your favorite plants to a private list that you can print and take to your favorite nursery!








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