City Offers EyeOnWater Leak Detection Sign-up Help for Fix-A-Leak-Week

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The City of Santa Fe Water Conservation Office and Customer Service are teaming up to help customers find and fix water leaks during the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency WaterSense program’s ninth annual Fix a Leak Week.

On March 22, staff will be at the Genoveva Chavez Community Center from 8 am to noon to sign customers up for the Eye on Water tool that allows Santa Fe water customers to monitor their daily and hourly water usage and spot potential leaks to avoid surprise water bills. Every customer who signs up will receive a free toilet flapper.

Fix a Leak Week is celebrated in March of each year as a time to remind Americans to check their household fixtures and irrigation systems for leaks.

“Fix a Leak Week has taken on a new meaning now that we have this tool,” said Water Conservation Office Manager, Christine Chavez. “Since we rolled this out in late January, nearly 1600 customers have been tracking and monitoring their water use.

To sign up, go to eyeonwater.com/signup to enter your zip code, select Santa Fe and enter your account number but do not enter any zeros. For DETAILED steps on the sign up process, visit our EyeOnWater page.

Fix a Leak Week encourages Americans to help put a stop to the more than 1 trillion gallons of water wasted from household leaks each year. In most cases, replacement parts don’t require a major investment and can be installed by do-it-yourselfers. Fixing easily corrected water leaks can save homeowners money on their water bills.

WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by the U.S. EPA, seeks to protect the future of our nation’s water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products, new homes, and services. Since the program’s inception in 2006, WaterSense has helped consumers save 287 billion gallons of water and $4.7 billion in water and energy bills. For more information, visit www.epa.gov/watersense.

The Facts on Leaks:

  • The average household loses 10,000 gallons of water every year, or the amount of water needed to wash 270 loads of laundry.
  • Household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons annually nationwide. That’s equal to the annual household water use of more than 11 million homes.
  • Ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day.
  • Common types of leaks found in the home include worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves. All are easily correctable.
  • Fixing easily corrected household water leaks can save homeowners about 10 percent on their water bills.
  • Keep your home leak-free by repairing dripping faucets, toilet flappers, and showerheads. In most cases, fixture replacement parts don’t require a major investment.
  • Most common leaks can be eliminated after retrofitting a household with new WaterSense labeled fixtures and other high-efficiency appliances.

Leak Detection:

  • A good method to check for leaks is to sign up for the EyeOnWater application to examine your water usage and spot leaks. To learn how, go to savewatersantafe.com/eye-on-water/. It’s likely that a family of four has a serious leak problem if its winter water use exceeds 7,000 gallons per month.
  • One way to find out if you have a toilet leak is to place a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If the color shows up in the bowl within 10 minutes without flushing, you have a leak. Make sure to flush immediately after this experiment to avoid staining the tank.

Faucets and Showerheads:

  • A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year. That’s the amount of water needed to take more than 180 showers!
  • Leaky faucets can be fixed by checking faucet washers and gaskets for wear and replacing them if necessary. If you are replacing a faucet, look for the WaterSense label.
  • A showerhead leaking at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons per year. That’s the amount of water it takes to wash 60 loads of dishes in your dishwasher.
  • Most leaky showerheads can be fixed by ensuring a tight connection using pipe tape and a wrench. If you are replacing a showerhead, look for one that has earned the WaterSense label.

Toilets (May qualify for a rebate):

  • If your toilet is leaking, the cause is often an old, faulty toilet flapper. Over time, this inexpensive rubber part decays, or minerals build up on it. It’s usually best to replace the whole rubber flapper—a relatively easy, inexpensive do-it-yourself project that pays for itself in no time.
  • If you need to replace the entire toilet, look for a WaterSense labeled model and visit www.savewatersantafe.com to see if you qualify for a rebate. If the average family replaces its older, inefficient toilets with new WaterSense labeled ones, it could save 13,000 gallons per year. Retrofitting the house could save the family nearly $2,400 in water and wastewater bills over the lifetime of the toilets.

Outdoors:

  • An irrigation system should be checked each spring before use to make sure it was not damaged by frost or freezing.
  • An irrigation system that has a leak 1/32nd of an inch in diameter (about the thickness of a dime) can waste about 6,300 gallons of water per month.
  • To ensure that your in-ground irrigation system is not leaking water, consult with a WaterSense irrigation partner who has passed a certification program focused on water efficiency, such as the Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL); look for a WaterSense irrigation partner.
  • Check your garden hose for leaks at its connection to the spigot. If it leaks while you run your hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench.