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Finding hidden water leaks
1 in 3 Alice Springs homes have a leak that is wasting more than the average Australian household uses in a year!
Leaks can go unnoticed for years and waste substantial amounts of water. 1 in 3 households, out of 1000 Alice Springs participating in Alice Water Smart, were found to be losing over 200kL of water per year on average to leaks. Luckily fixing leaks is an easy and common sense way to avoid water waste and save money on your water bill.
Watch our video on finding hidden leaks and see more tips below.
The two step 'hidden leak test'
Use a handy reminder to complete a quarterly 'hidden leak test' such as when your Power and Water bill arrives.
Ask people in your home or business not to use water whilst you do the test.
Step 1: Take a reading of the two right hand digits on your water meter.
Step 2: Wait 10 mins - remember not to run any water during this time. If after 10mins there has been any movement in your meter reading, you have a leak. Even the smallest movement in your meter reading can add up to a lot of water over a year.
To look out for leaks
- Leaks can occur regularly in the garden. Check for wet patches, green spots, popped of drippers, joiners or disconnections in the garden irrigation system every couple of weeks.
- Check for dripping taps and showerheads.
- Leaking toilets can leak far more water than a tap. Any noise or water movement in the bowl can mean hundreds of thousands of litres a year is being wasted. Check the toilet for leaks by putting food dye in the cistern and seeing if it ends up in the bowl.
Found a leak?
- In the street - report it within 48hrs to Power and Water by calling 1800 245 092
- In your home or garden - let the handy person or landlord know
- At your school - ask your teacher to tell the maintenance person
- At work - report it to the manager and/or maintenance person within 24hrs
Simple leaks can be easy to fix yourself if you learn how.
Alternatively find out who can fix leaks for you:
- Identify a local handy person to help fix simple leaks.
- Get advice about fixing simple leaks in your homw by talking to your local hardware store person.
- To have more significant leaks fixed, contact a plumber.
- keep the numbers for handy persons and plumbers in a convenient location
* If renting always contact your landlord and/or check on responsibilities under your rental contract before considering any works.
Fixing common irrigation leaks
Irrigation systems can leak for a number of reasons, resulting in uneccesary water losses. Drippers can block up or blow off, joints can leak and pipes can split. It’s important to check your system regularly to make sure that leaks are kept to a minimum.
If you do find a leak they are often quick and easy to repair. Below are some instructions to fix just about any irrigation leak:
- If your drippers are blowing off, your pipes continually split or your joints just don’t seem to stay together it’s probably a sign that you have too much pressure running through your irrigation lines.
- You can buy in-line pressure reducers or regulators to help keep your system together.
- Reducers work by reducing the water pressure, and regulators set the pressure to a certain level.
- Estimate how many drippers you have on the line and visit your local garden shop for some advice on which option (reducer or regulator) would best suit your situation.
- Sometimes when dripper lines get to a certain age, they can become brittle and leaks keep reappearing. If that’s the situation in your garden there is not much else you can do but to pull them all out and start again.
- Leaks in your lawn irrigation system can reduce water pressure, causing your pop-ups to stop popping up!
- The type of pipe you have connecting your pop-ups can affect how easy or hard these leaks are to fix. These pipes could be white PVC, or the more DIY user friendly black polypipe.
- Often it’s easier to call in a garden expert to fix leaking pop-ups.
- Look out for areas in your garden that are too wet or green.
- Turn on your irrigation and walk along your line to look for leaks. If your irrigation lines are buried listen for escaping water.
- When cutting pipes make sure the cuts are nice and square so they join easily to other pipes.
- If using joiners, push the pipes on as far as they go for a good seal.