March 14-20 is “Fix A Leak” Week in Santa Fe

12823377_10153946206584501_8648838754827035696_oThe City of Santa Fe Water Conservation Office is asking city residents to help hunt for the “Bad Flapper,” the symbolic villain of water-wasting household leaks, as part of the city’s promotion of national Fix a Leak Week, March 14-20, 2016.

The Water Conservation Office has planned a special event during the week, “Flapper Friday,” in the Water Division Lobby, 801 W San Mateo, on Friday, March 18th from 10 am to 2 pm. The Water Conservation staff will be handing out new toilet flappers, as well as information about finding and fixing household leaks, to customers who bring their water bills to this one day only event.

“Bad toilet flappers are one of the prime culprits for household leaks. Fixing a toilet flapper leak can save up to 1,000 gallons of water a month and lower your monthly water bill. Overall, leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water in the home every year—enough water to wash nearly a year’s worth of laundry,” said Christine Chavez, City of Santa Fe water conservation manager.

Ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day. Common types of leaks found in the home include leaking toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves.

Fixing easily corrected household water leaks can save homeowners and businesses more than 10 percent on their water bills. Water Conservation Office staff are currently working with Water Division Customer Service to identify customer accounts that may have leaks and following up to schedule leak investigations with the customers. 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.

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.
  • 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.
  • If a family of four replaces its older, inefficient toilets with new WaterSense labeled ones, it could save more than 16,000 gallons per year. Retrofitting the house could save the family approximately $2,000 in water and wastewater bills over the lifetime of the toilets.


  • An irrigation system should be checked 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.

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 is a project of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program in partnership with the New Mexico Office of State Engineer.  For more information on identifying and repairing household leaks or to learn more about WaterSense-labeled products, visit and the Fix a Leak page of the Office of the State Engineer website at