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Medford Water Commission

Medford Water Commission - 541.774.2430
Frequently Asked Questions - Homepage
Toilet Rebate Program

Q: Why is Medford Water Commission (MWC) offering toilet rebates?

A: Nearly a third of household water used indoors is flushed down the toilet. MWC is offering this program as an incentive to replace older, inefficient toilets with new models that perform well while using far less water. Using water more efficiently saves money, both for the homeowner and our water system.


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Q: Who qualifies for the program?

A: The rebate program is available to anyone who receives their water service from MWC, and who replaces their old high flow toilets with WaterSense® certified toilets. Customers must receive a water bill directly from MWC to qualify.


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Q: Can I receive a rebate if I rent my home?

A: Rental properties are eligible, but it is generally best for the owner to apply for the rebate. The owner should also indicate whether the rebate is to be paid to the renter or the owner.


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Q: How will I know if a toilet qualifies before I buy it?

A: The packaging for qualifying toilets is typically labeled with the WaterSense logo. Plumbers and store personnel should also be able to direct you to these models. To assure that the model you’ve selected qualifies, you can also check the current list of certified models on the WaterSense website.


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Q: Why do the lists have tanks and bowls listed separately?

A: Many toilets are sold in two pieces. Toilet components must match the numbers on the WaterSense list exactly. No mixing and matching of tanks and bowls from the list is allowed as toilets have been tested in specific combinations for performance and efficiency.


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Q: I want to make sure that I buy a toilet that performs well. Is there a way to find out more about models I am considering?

A: While all toilets certified under WaterSense must meet performance standards, more detailed information from independent testing is also available. Known as MaP testing, you can view test results here.


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Q: Who pays for installation?

A: Customers are responsible for the installation of the toilet. You may hire a plumber or install the toilet yourself. For information on how to install a toilet, there are several websites that give step by step instructions: Lowes.com, HammerZone.com, DoItYourself.com.


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Q: Is there anything else I need to buy with the toilet?

A: Installing a new wax ring is advised, and additional bolts may be needed for some installations. Work with your retailer or plumber to ensure you have all the equipment needed for a working toilet.


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Q: I live in Medford, but pump my water from a well. Am I eligible?

A: No, rebates are available only for residences that receive water service from Medford Water Commission.


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Q: How long is this rebate program going to be underway?

A: There is no scheduled end date for this program. The program will be assessed periodically to determine funding availability and customer interest. We will post any changes to the program on this website and attempt to keep local vendors informed.


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Q: How do I get an application?

A: You can download and print an application or call 541-774-2435 to receive an application by mail. 


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Q: How do I know what my old toilet size is?

A: We compute the flush volume of the old toilet when we conduct our inspection, so you won’t be expected to know this information ahead of time. But if you are curious about how much your rebate will be before you apply, try these tips: 

  • Toilet capacity is measured in gallons per flush (gpf). Newer toilets often have a stamp near the hinge of the toilet seat indicating flush volume. 
  • If there is no stamp on your toilet, you can estimate the capacity of your toilet based on when the toilet was installed, which is often when the house was built.
    • If you believe the toilet was installed before 1980, a good usage estimate is 5 gpf.
    • If your home was built from 1980-1993, 3.5 gpf is a reasonable estimate.
    • Toilets installed after 1994 are subject to updated plumbing codes, which mandate the use of low-flow toilets. These toilets normally use 1.6 gpf.
  • For a more accurate estimate, locate your water meter and have another family member flush the toilet while you watch the register move. It is best to do this a couple times, separated by a minute or two. Make sure you aren’t using water in other ways while doing this test.


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Q: Can I receive a rebate for more than one toilet? If so, do I need to apply for each rebate separately?

A: This program allows multiple rebates per property, which can be processed individually or all at the same time. It is suggested that you call us at 541-774-2435 for directions and clarification if you are interested in rebates for more than 10 toilets. When requesting rebates for multiple toilets at once, please use only one application form.


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Q: Are WaterSense toilets available locally?

A: With hundreds of qualifying models, retailers will not stock every model. However, local vendors have been informed about the program and have approved models in stock.


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Q: Can I purchase my toilet through a plumber or online?

A: You may purchase your toilet at a store, online, or through a plumber. Whichever you choose, just make sure the toilet is WaterSense certified and that you have the required documentation as described in the application.


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Q: How long will it take after I submit my application to receive my rebate?

A: You should generally receive your rebate within 4 to 6 weeks after we receive notification that your old toilet has been recycled.


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Q: How much is the rebate?

A: An $85 rebate is available for the replacement of a toilet using 2.5 gallons per flush (gpf) or more, or $40 for the replacement of a toilet with a flush volume of 1.6 to 2.5 gpf. A $40 rebate will also be given in new construction for the installation of a qualifying 1.28 gallon toilet in lieu of a standard 1.6 gpf model. No rebates are given for replacing a 1.28 gpf toilet.


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Q: The application states that an installation inspection by MWC is required. What does this mean?

A: When your application is received, MWC staff will contact you to set up an inspection of the newly installed toilet(s). We accomplish three tasks during the inspection. First, we verify that qualifying WaterSense toilets have been installed. Second, we view the toilet(s) being replaced to determine the rebate amount. Third, we provide you with a voucher for free recycling of the old toilet(s). An average inspection only takes about ten to fifteen minutes.


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Q: What are WaterSense labeled toilets?

A: WaterSense is a federal EPA program that certifies and promotes the purchase of water efficient products; much like EnergyStar has done for energy efficient products. You may go to the WaterSense website for more information on this program. WaterSense labeled toilets use no more than 1.28 gallons per flush (gpf) or an average of 1.28 gpf on dual flush models. This is 20% less than the current plumbing standard and 65%-75% less than older models. To receive WaterSense certification, toilets must also pass rigorous performance testing by independent laboratories.


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Q: How long do I have to apply for my rebate?

A: Rebates are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so we advise you to apply as soon as possible after your new toilet is installed.


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Q: How can I submit my application?

A: We accept applications by mail, email, fax, or hand delivery to our office.

Physical / Mailing Address:
Medford Water Commission
Attn: David Searcy
200 S. Ivy St – Room 177
Medford, Oregon 97501
 
Email:
David.Searcy@cityofmedford.org
 
Fax: 541-774-2555
Attn: David Searcy
 


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Q: What should I do with my old toilet(s)?

A: In conjunction with the rebate program, MWC will provide a voucher for free recycling of old toilets at the Rogue Disposal and Recycling transfer station. Rogue Disposal will validate the voucher and direct you to the designated recycle container. All metal and plastic parts should be removed from the toilet before disposing of the porcelain toilet parts (tank and bowl) in the container. Rogue Disposal will notify MWC when vouchers have been received. Participants should retain their copy of the validated voucher until the rebate check is received. Your rebate will be significantly reduced if the toilet is re-sold, given away or otherwise disposed of.


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