This week, March 12th thru 18th marks the EPA’s 4th annual Fix a Leak Week and as landscape irrigation professionals there are many things we can do to educate our customers to increase their awareness of the importance of fixing leaks.
According to EPA Administrator, Lisa P. Jackson, “Across the country, household leaks add up to more than 1 trillion gallons of water annually. The amount we’re losing could supply Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami for a full year. We’re not just losing water, we’re also losing the money our communities put into keeping our water clean and healthy. That’s why Fix a Leak Week is so important, and why we encourage everyone to take a few simple steps that can add up to have a significant positive impact.”
As landscape irrigation professionals, here are a just a few ways we can help our customers identify leaks in landscape irrigation systems.
Check the Meter
If the water for your landscape irrigation system is metered, an easy way to identify if you have a leak is to check the leak detector on your water meter. Many water meters are equipped with a small triangular or star shaped indicator that will turn when a very low amount of water is passing thru the water meter. If all devices and sprinklers are off and the leak detector on the water meter is turning, then there is a leak somewhere down stream of the meter.
Check Valve Boxes
Water from leaking irrigation pipes typically finds its way down the path of least resistance and into valve boxes. If it hasn’t rained recently and your irrigation system hasn’t watered in several days, if you encounter cold water in your sprinkler valve boxes, the water could be coming from a leaky pipe. Water in valve boxes may be coming from a high water table, but could also be coming from an excessive amount of over watering which should also be corrected.
Turning on sprinklers and looking for signs of leaks around the sprinkler or at the base of the sprinkler stem ensures that sprinkler seals are not leaking or that sprinkler caps are not cracked and leaking. This is also a great time to ensure sprinkler nozzles are operating correctly and not out of adjustment.
If sprinklers appear to be operating at extremely low pressure, this could possibly indicate a broken lateral line or a broken sprinkler.
These are just a few, simple ways to check for leaks. As landscape irrigation professionals, there are many other ways to identify leaks in landscape irrigation systems. So please join me in support of the EPA’s WaterSense Program in sharing ways to educate our customers on the importance of Fix a Leak Week!
For more information about WaterSense and Fix a Leak Week, please visit the EPA site.
What are some of the other ways you can think of to identify leaks?