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Save Water, Save Money – How to “Leak-Proof” your home this summer

gold-colored faucet close-up photography

The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted above-average temperatures and below-average rainfall for the remainder of 2019 – and in the wake of devastating bushfires throughout the country, the importance of saving water has never been more critical.

While shorter showers and reticulated sprinkler systems can have a massive impact on your household’s water usage, one of the most overlooked sources of wastage comes from undetected leaks. In fact, a single leaking tap can waste up to 10,000 litres of water a year!

Thankfully, the Water Corporation has recently launched a handy online resource to help homeowners detect potential leaks – their Leak Detection Tool. By comparing your meter reading over time, the tool provides an assessment of your water usage and recommendations for finding leaks should they be detected.

So, where do you start looking for leaks?

Inside the home
The most common places for indoor leaks to occur are in the bathroom, laundry, and kitchen – most usually from dripping taps or poorly secured washing machine and dishwasher connections. Another common sign that you have a leak is damp patches on walls or the floor near water fixtures.
The majority of indoor leaks are small, and maybe not so obvious. This can make them especially hazardous, as “slow-drip leaks” can eventually lead to extensive water damage if left undetected.

Outside the home
Common areas for leaks outside the home include:

  • Outdoor taps and hoses
  • Garden irrigation (including sprinkler systems)
  • Automatic solenoids and manual isolation valves
  • Exposed pipework
  • Hot water systems
  • Air Conditioning units

It’s important to regularly test your garden irrigation system for faults. These systems can often use the most water in a household and are usually scheduled to run when there may be no one around to notice a leak.

So, I’ve got a leak – what now?

All plumbing work carried out in Western Australia must be completed by either a licensed plumber or a tradesperson working under the supervision of a licensed plumber.

Luckily, the Water Corporation has a searchable database of locally operating plumbers and garden irrigators who hold a “Waterwise” endorsement – which shows they are up to date on all water-saving plumbing practices.

Even better, the Water Corporation offers a potential reduction in your water bill if you have an undetected leak repaired by a licensed plumber. Simply have your licensed plumber or garden irrigator complete the Leak Allowance Application form, and you can be partially reimbursed for any wasted water charges.

To find out how your water usage compares to other homes in your area, or for more information on how to become a more water-efficient household, visit the Water Corporation’s website (https://www.watercorporation.com.au/).

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Emma

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