How Low Can You Go: Living in a Semi-Arid ClimateSaving water is always in season. It’s not just something we do in the summer when demand is high and supplies are low. Water is always a limited resource in the high desert and Santa Fe’s water supply is threatened by climate change and population growth. Conserving water is the most direct way to ensure we have water in the future and is much less expensive than buying new water resources and building the infrastructure to deliver them.
Every Drop Counts – Fix A LeakTen percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day. In Santa Fe, that’s more than 3,800 homes. In addition to toilet flappers, common sources of leaks include faucets and valves.Correcting easy-to-fix water leaks can save homeowners and businesses more than 10 percent on their water bills. In most cases, fixture replacement parts don't require a major investment and can be installed by do-it-yourselfers. Water Conservation staff can be reached year-round at (505) 955-4225 to answer customer questions on how to fix leaks.For more information, see the Office of the State Engineer's Don’t Waste a Drop: Finding, Fixing and Preventing Indoor Water Leaks brochure.
The Facts on Leaks
- A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year.
- A showerhead leaking at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons per year. That's enough water 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 your toilet is running constantly, you could be wasting 200 gallons of water or more every day. To test for leaks, add a few drops of food coloring or a dye tablet to the water in the tank and see if the coloring appears in the bowl with a few minutes.
- If your toilet is leaking, the cause is most 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.
- Check your irrigation system each spring before use to make sure it was not damaged by frost or freezing.
- 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.
- Check for hidden water leaks in your home. To check, turn off all indoor and outdoor faucets and water-using appliances, then watch the meter. If it continues to run or turn, you probably have a leak.