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Office of Energy and SustainabilitySuperior government service with the smallest possible environmental footprint


Montgomery County uses water saving fixtures in all County facilities built or renovated since 2008. Rain gardens, green roofs, and other on-site stormwater treatment is implemented on all County facilities built since 2012.

Water Conservation

The County conducts water use audits and data analysis to identify and prioritize water efficiency improvements at its facilities. Water saving measures include installation of low flow showerheads, sinks, and toilets, as well as sub metering. In addition, measures may include educational signage to improve water efficient use at high public use facilities, such as pools, libraries, and theaters. The County has identified 11 facilities for the initial pilot project. The County is conducting a pilot project in partnership with AQUEES, a local green business start-up that is part of the Bethesda Green Incubator. As a result of the project, the County retrofitted 90 existing sign faucets with low flow faucet aerators, reducing annual water use and costs in the Executive Office Building (EOB). The EOB project is expected to save $15,000 annually after payback for the investment. Several other County facilities are being evaluated for water conservation projects.

Water Reuse

Montgomery County’s Equipment Maintenance and Transit Operations Center (EMTOC) embodies our goal to maximize water conservation and reuse at County facilities. Not only does EMTOC feature low flow sinks, toilets, showers, and urinals – it also has an impressive water recycling system. Water is captured from four acres of green roof, treated, and stored in an underground cistern. The treated water is then used for washing buses as well as for flushing the toilets and urinals. This means a water savings of more than 30% over the original equipment maintenance facility. In its first full year of operation, EMTOC’s water and sewer bill was $500,000 less than that of the original facility. More...

What You Can Do

You can save water at home by installing low flow showerheads, toilets, and more. Repairing leaky faucets and toilets also makes a huge difference for water conservation. Remember that saving water also means saving the energy used to heat water – so your water conservation can also reduce air pollution and keep money in your wallet. Saving water and stopping pollution at home isn’t limited to actions inside your house. You can use rain barrels, rain gardens, native plant gardens, and canopy trees to reduce flooding and pollution to local streams and rivers. Even better, Montgomery County provides rebates through its RainScapes Rewards Rebate program.

Protecting Streams and Rivers

Porous pavement

Porous Pavement

Porous pavement allows rain to pass through it and soak into the ground. This replenishes the water table, prevents flooding, and filters pollutants before rain and snow melt reaches our streams and rivers. You can see the porous pavement at the White Oak Recreation Center in action here.

Rain garden

Rain Gardens

Rain gardens and conservation landscaping replace grass with native plants that slow and filter rain water and provide habitat for birds and butterflies. Rain gardens also replace existing dirt with stone, sand, and rich soil – perfect for filtering pollutants. They typically drain water within a few hours, preventing mosquitoes. Most County facilities use rain gardens to treat water on-site. More...

Green roof

Green Roofs

Green roofs absorb and filter rainwater, keeping streams and rivers clean. They insulate buildings and save energy. They typically include a root barrier, a drainage layer, 3-4 inches of a soil mixture engineered for water absorption, and low-growing plants that can withstand droughts and heavy rain. More...

Stormwater Ponds

Stormwater ponds collect rain water that runs over land or into storm drains along streets and parking lots, preventing flooding and allowing pollutants to settle at the bottom, keeping them out of streams and rivers. These ponds have control structures to release water slowly. Well managed ponds are healthy and support fish, insects, and amphibians that control mosquito populations. More...

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