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The Building Department personnel will be attending required training September 8, 9, 10, and 11.

Although contract inspectors have been scheduled to fill in during this period, they do not have the familiarity with projects that the regular inspectors do. It may be wise to factor this into your inspection needs during that four-day period.

The building counter will be closed with the exception of Tuesday September 9th from 8:00 am to 11:00 am for project submittal only. Depending on scheduling constraints, contract inspectors may be available from 4-5 pm each day for limited questions. In addition, our regular 10:00 am –11:30 am Over-The-Counter plan review service will be canceled on Tuesday, September 9th and Thursday, September 11th.

Thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation in this matter. 

As per California Civil Code 1101.4:

1101.4. (a) On and after January 1, 2014, for all building alterations or improvements to single-family residential real property, as a condition for issuance of a certificate of final completion and occupancy or final permit approval by the local building department, the permit applicant shall replace all noncompliant plumbing fixtures with water-conserving plumbing fixtures.

Civil Code Section 1101.3 defines “noncompliant plumbing fixture” to mean any of the following:

  • Any toilet manufactured to use more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush.
  • Any urinal manufactured to use more than one gallon of water per flush.
  • Any showerhead manufactured to have a flow capacity of more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute.
  • Any interior faucet that emits more than 2.2 gallons of water per minute.

Civil Code Section 1101.3 goes on to define “water-conserving plumbing fixture” to mean any fixture that is in compliance with current building standards applicable to a newly constructed real property of the same type.

The mandatory requirements of the “current building standards” are contained in the 2013 California Green Building Standards Code. (CALGreen) The specific standards for plumbing fixtures installed in newly constructed buildings or additions or alterations to existing residential buildings where the addition or alteration increases the building’s conditioned area, volume, or size are as follows:

  • Toilets/water closets may use no more than 1.28 gallons per flush.
  • Urinals may use no more than 0.5 gallons per flush.
  • The maximum flow rate for a showerhead is 2.0 gallons per minute at 80 psi.
  • Interior faucets may not exceed specified flow rates:           
        • Residential lavatory faucets must not exceed 1.5 gallons per minute at 60 psi. The minimum flow rate of residential lavatory faucets is 0.8 gallons per minute at 20 psi.

        •  Metering faucets must not deliver more than 0.25 gallons per cycle.

        • Kitchen faucets must not exceed 1.8 gallons per minute at 60 psi, except for temporary increases not to exceed 2.2 gallons per minute at 60 psi.

As per the above Civil and California CALGreen code requirements, the Building Department of the City of Mill Valley is required to verify that all non-compliant fixtures have been replaced or that the existing fixtures do not constitute “noncompliant plumbing fixtures.” To obtain a certificate of final completion and occupancy or final approval for a permit it must be demonstrated that the plumbing fixtures comply with the applicable water use efficiency standards by any of the following methods:

  • Proof of purchase (sales receipt, etc.) that references the fixture model number and technical data supplied by the manufacturer that confirms the fixture’s flow capacity.
  •  Provide the model number of the fixture accompanied by technical data supplied by the manufacturer that confirms the fixture’s flow capacity. This method of verification is generally applicable to existing fixtures that may meet the above requirements for water-conserving plumbing fixtures. Field verification by Building Department staff is required for this method.
  • Product packaging, owners’ manual or similar documentation from the manufacturer that confirms the fixture’s flow capacity.

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These FAQs address a variety of Building Department related issues in an informal, yet informational format. As changes occur in the codes, as well as industry changes that impact the codes, we will continue to update the FAQs to help you stay informed.

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Questions? Email us! We strongly encourage email communication regarding code questions and interpretation, department policies, and other Building Department related issues.

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Be sure to check out our expanded section of digital handouts on a variety of Building Department related topics.

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Important Notice Regarding 2013 Building Code:

If you are an architect, engineer, designer or contractor that performs work within the State of California, please be advised that new California Title 24 codes will take effect on January 1, 2014. These codes include: the 2013 California Building Code and the 2013 California Residential Code, based on the 2012 International Building Code (IBC) and the 2012 International Residential Code, respectively; the 2013 California Mechanical and Plumbing codes, based on the 2012 Uniform Mechanical and the 2012 Uniform Plumbing Code, respectively; and, the 2013 California Electrical code based on the 2011 National Electrical Code. In addition, the California Energy Code and the California Green Building Standards Code have been updated, and are now the 2013 California Energy Code and the 2013 California Green Building Standards Code.

All plan review applications submitted after December 31, 2013 shall be required to comply with the new codes.

The 2013 California codes are available for purchase directly from the International Code Council at as well as other vendors. The 2013 (as well as some previous) California codes may also available for viewing in a digital format at the California Building Standards website at .


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Last updated: 9/8/2014 5:35:29 PM