Fix a leak week

OWASA encourages its customers to look for and fix leaks in plumbing systems and irrigation systems as a simple but effective part of using water wisely. By quickly finding and correcting leaks, people can reduce their water and sewer bills, avoid or minimize property damage that may result from a water leak, and help save energy that is required to treat and deliver water.

Also, customers who fix leaks may be eligible for account adjustments from OWASA Customer Service under a policy adopted by the OWASA Board of Directors. The policy enables customers to get account adjustments once every three years subject to certain limits and conditions. More information is available in the Customer Service part of the OWASA website (www.owasa.org), by clicking here or contacting Customer Service at 919-537-4343 or customerservice@owasa.org. 

OWASA and other utilities across the U.S. are promoting leak detection and repair as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Sense Partnership’s national “Fix-A-Leak Week” from March 12th through the 18th. The EPA’s webpage at http://epa.gov/watersense/our_water/fix_a_leak.html notes that a typical American home loses an average of about 10,000 gallons per year due to leaks and that residential leaks nationwide total more than 1 trillion gallons each year.

OWASA is a partner in the Water Sense Partnership.

Here is a list of some places to check for leaks in residences and many businesses:

1.     Toilets, which are one of the most common places for leaks. A toilet with a leaking flapper valve in the toilet tank can waste a lot of water – in some cases, more than 100,000 gallons in one month. To check for a leak in a toilet with a tank, put food dye in the tank and wait 15 to 20 minutes without flushing. If dye appears in the bowl, there is a leak (probably at the flapper or fill valve).

2.     Faucets and spigots, including those outdoors.

3.     Showerheads.

4.     Hoses and hose connections in washing machines, dishwashers and other water-using appliances. 

5.     Water pipes, including those in crawlspaces, under sinks, in utility rooms, etc. 

6.     The private water service line that carries water from an OWASA meter to a home, business, etc. (Leaks in these pipes may not be apparent until there is a high water bill or a wet spot in a lawn or paved area near the underground service line.)

7.     Irrigation systems, including sprinkler heads and pipes.

8.     Water heaters (Most water heater leaks are usually an indication that the hot water heater needs to be replaced.)

OWASA’s meters also have a flow indicator which a customer can check to determine whether there is a leak somewhere in a plumbing system. If the flow indicator is moving when there is no intentional water use, there is a leak. For more information about how to check an OWASA meter for indications of a leak or to monitor water use, please click here or visit the Conservation and Education part of the OWASA website and select the page on conservation tips.

Customers who do not know the location of the meters serving their residences/ businesses, or who are not sure whether they have a leak, are invited to contact OWASA Customer Service at 919-537-4343 or customerservice@owasa.org for help.

”Leaks account for a lot of water waste in our community. The good news is that we can eliminate a substantial amount of that water waste through some fairly easy actions and easy-to-do repairs around the home and business,” said Patrick Davis, OWASA’s Sustainability Manager. He added that “By fixing water leaks, we can also help save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with the generation and use of energy that is required to pump, treat, and deliver water and to collect and treat wastewater from the homes and businesses in our community.”

Customers are invited to contact OWASA at any time with any questions or comments about water conservation methods and benefits, the year-round conservation requirements that apply to the use of OWASA drinking water in normal conditions, etc.

For more information:

Patrick Davis, Sustainability Manager, 537-4210 or pdavis@owasa.org

Greg Feller, Public Affairs, 537-4267 or gfeller@owasa.org