With the statewide drought and heightening water restrictions, saving water in any way possible is becoming critical. Sioux Falls' "Retrofit Rebate" program is rewarding people who buy water-conserving appliances. Replacing old less-efficient washers, dryers, irrigation systems and toilets is rewarded with a rebate.
"The three most intense water usages in the home are the toilet, the shower and the washing machine" Utilities Operations Manager Trent Lubbers said.
Over the years, the most successful aspect of the program involves water-saving toilets.
Every year, rebate totals for toilets are going down, which is good according to officials, because there are only so many toilets in a city. The new toilet standards are saving a lot of money for the city and your water bill.
"Anything prior to '92 was a high consumption toilet, using, it could be five or six gallons per flush," Handy Man employee Brian Bolcerek.
All toilets today flush between 1.2 to 1.6 gallons of water, and depending on how many bathrooms you may have in your home, you can continue to use the rebate program even after replacing one.
"The city will give you a rebate on your water bill of $75 on your first toilet, $60 for your second toilet and $50 for every toilet after that," Bolcerek said.
Bolcerek says the majority of customers he sees buying toilets are replacing old ones. With the program being nearly ten years old, the company keeps rebate forms at the front of the store to remind buyers of the program.
Numbers have dwindled for irrigation system rebates too, dropping by 46 units in the last year.
"Watering is a large consumer for us in the summertime and so we want to make that as efficient as possible," Lubbers said.
During this summer's drought, purchasing a sprinkler system with a timer could go a long way toward saving on your water bill. It could also help the city save on water in a year of low supply.
"It went from about 120 gallons per person per day to about 99 gallons per day," Lubbers said.
A washing machine rebate is $125 and an irrigation system rebate can be up to $80.
To apply for the "Retrofit Rebate" program, visit the City of Sioux Falls’ website.