It’s fix-a-leak week

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By The Staff

Because minor water leaks account for more than one trillion gallons of water wasted each year in U.S. homes, the Los Alamos Deptartment of Public Utilities joins the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense in declaring this Fix-a-Leak Week.

“We want to remind our residents and businesses to check their plumbing fixtures and their irrigation systems for leaks,” said Matthew Dickens, DPU’s conservation coordinator.

“Leaks can account for 11,000 gallons of water wasted in the home every year, or enough to fill a backyard swimming pool.  Fixing easily correctable leaks is not only a smart way to save water for the future, it can save homeowners more than 10 percent on their water bills, which is a more efficient use of water and household funds,” he said

The EPA’s WaterSense program promotes ways to identify and repair dripping faucets, running toilets, and leaky showerheads. In most cases, fixture replacement parts can be installed by do-it-yourselfers and pay for themselves in no time.  

Many of the water-saving devices and tools that are available at regular retail outlets such as hardware stores, grocery stores and home improvement centers, show the  WaterSense seal.  

The WaterSense seal indicates that the item has been independently tested and certified to save water and perform as well as or better than standard models.  

The Los Alamos utilities department, an EPA WaterSense partner, frequently recommends WaterSense labeled devices to ratepayers seeking to conserve water and lower their water bill.  

Following are a few water-saving tips from the DPU:

• Reduce faucet leaks by checking faucet washers and gaskets for wear and, if necessary, replace the faucet with a WaterSense labeled model.

• Leaky toilets are most often the result of a worn toilet flapper. Replacing the rubber flapper is a quick fix that could save a home up to 200 gallons of water per day.

• For a leaky garden hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench.

• Landscape irrigation systems should be checked each spring before use to make sure they are not damaged by frost or freezing.

• If you suspect a leak but are having trouble locating it, the DPU’s Conservation Program may be able to help. E-mail DPU@lacnm.us or call 311 to inquire.

For more information on Fix-a-Leak Week, visit www.epa.gov/watersense/fixaleak or www.losalamosnm.us/utilities  or call to inquire about a water audit for your home or business. Dial 311 for land lines or 505-662-8333 from cell phones or out of area locations.

WaterSense is a partnership program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to protect the future of our nation’s water supply by promoting and enhancing the market for water-efficient products and services.

The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) operates the county-owned electric, gas, water & wastewater systems under the jurisdiction of the Board of Public Utilities.

The board meets the third Wednesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. and the public is always welcome.