The Unintended Consequences Of Water Conservation

In California, we’ve become pros at dealing with the drought and practicing good water conservation habits. We’ve done so well, that we’ve saved over 75 billion gallons since July. But all this saving has affected more than our water bills, it’s affected our infrastructure, too. Pipes, sewage systems, and trees have had some unforeseen issues because of how good we’ve been at not using too much water! Let’s take a look:


Because of low flow toilets, and people flushing less often, water isn’t flowing through pipes as much as they need it, and solid waste is building up. All of this solid waste sitting for any extended period can lead to corrosion, which will make replacement necessary.

Sewage Systems

Wastewater and gravity help push solids through Waste Management Facilities throughout the state, but the low wastewater flow has led to solids accumulating and creating stoppages. The biggest issue with a large amount of solid waste accumulating in any one place is the smell. With the Summer heat still going strong well into September, there are certain cities where it may be more noticeable than normal.


Trees in populated areas are desperate for water, so their roots are invading the sewer pipes and making themselves comfortable. Roots get bigger, and the bigger they are, the harder they are to remove. These roots cause blockages and can cause damage to the pipes as they grow.

While Californians still need to conserve all the water they can, these effects are a just short term inconveniences to help deal with a larger long-term problem.

To read the full article from the LA Times, click here.


WattzOn Labs is always innovating ways to engage people to save water and energy. It showcases the WattzOn products under the WattzOn Labs private-label. We don’t market these products, but use this small-scale direct-to-consumer experience to constantly evolve and learn. Then we apply the findings to the rich, private-label products used by all our customers at WattzOn.