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March 12, 2013 > Fix a leak week

Fix a leak week

Submitted By Frank Jahn

The Alameda County Water District invites you to celebrate Fix a Leak Week from March 18-24 by finding and fixing leaks in and around your home. Fixing leaks not only saves water, but could reduce your water bill by more than 10 percent.

Your water meter is a great place to start when checking for leaks.
* Turn off all faucets and water-using appliances.
* Locate your water meter and lift the lid so you can see the meter dial.
* If the needle is moving you have a leak.
* If the needle appears to be still, record the meter reading. Keep the water off for 15-30 minutes and then read the meter again. If the needle has moved, you have a leak somewhere in your system.

Next, you'll have to determine if the leak is inside or outside your house.
* Turn off the main water valve to the inside of your house.
* Check your water meter. If the needle is moving, or moves over the course of 15-30 minutes, you have a leak somewhere outside your house.
* If the meter has not moved, you have a leak somewhere inside your house.
If you have a leak outside your house, check you irrigation system.
* Taller, greener vegetation or moss growing around the sprinkler heads are signs of damaged or dirty valves.
* Wet spots, mud, and eroding soil may indicate a broken pipe or riser.
* Sprinklers spouting geysers of water indicate broken sprinkler heads.

If you have a leak inside your house, check your faucets and toilets.
* Faucet leaks are usually caused by worn washers or "O" rings. To repair a leaky faucet, turn off the water supply line to that faucet, replace the washer, and turn on the line again.
* To determine if your toilet is leaking, look at the toilet bowl after the tank has stopped filling. If water is still running into the bowl or you can hear water running, your toilet is leaking.
* If you do not see or hear water running, your toilet may have a silent leak. Test for a silent leak by dropping a little food coloring into the tank. Do not flush and wait for about 20 minutes. If the food coloring appears in the toilet bowl, you have a silent leak. It is probably located in or around the flapper valve at the bottom of the tank. These leaks are easy to fix with parts from a hardware store. Alternatively, you can order leak detection dye tablets and replacement flapper valves from ACWD by visiting www.acwd.org.

Fix a Leak Week is sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency's Water Sense program. For more information on finding and fixing leaks, visit their website at www.epa.gov/watersense or the ACWD website at www.acwd.org.
For more information, please visit www.acwd.org.

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