There is a limit to the amount of water that we have and that can be supplied. As more people are born and move into our cities to live and as more businesses are needed, so the same amount of water is still needed to be shared amongst us all. Therefore, every drop of water that is wasted through leaks means less water for us, our neighbours and our businesses.
A household leak can range from the loss of a few milliliters of water to hundreds of liters per minute. This water is fresh drinking water that is lost and is paid for, so leaks can be costly. Some leaks can be fixed yourself but more complex issues need a plumber.
How to check for leaks
You can check for leaks if you have a water meter for your property. The best way to check for a leak is to make sure all taps in your home are closed. Take a meter readings and wait for 30 minutes making absolutely sure that no one uses water in your home or garden. After that time take another reading. If there has been a change in the reading, this may indicate a leak on your property. Here are some examples of leaks and how to fix them:
Every drop of water that is wasted through leaks means less water for us, our neighbours and our businesses.
1. Dripping tap
Dripping taps may be caused by a worn or an old washer. If this is the case, it is relatively easy to replace a worn washer with a new one. However, if the problem is more complex it is best to call a plumber.
2. A leak in a pipe join
This happen when water leaks from the area where two pipes are joined together. This may be caused by a loose or worn-out couplings. To fix this, a coupling may need to be tightened or replaced.
3. Pipe leaks
A leaking pipe may be caused by the accidental damage of the pipe, or an old worn-out pipe. A leaking pipe can be fixed by patching the damaged area of the pipe or replacing the section which is damaged.
4. Toilet leaks
To check for a leak in the toilet, pour food coloring into the cistern. If the food coloring shows up in the toilet bowl, then your toilet could be leaking. This may be a result of a worn washer or faulty flush valve. This can be fixed quite easily, but a more serious problem will require a plumber.
Remember any leak that occurs after the water meter is your responsible, and it is up to you to fix it. Leaks that occurs before the meter is the responsibility of the municipality and needs to be reported.
What is a water meter?
A water meter is a device that measures the volume of water delivered to a property. Water meters generally measure water in cubic meters (m3). Most residential water meters are located on the property or outside on the pavement in a blue or black plastic meter or valve box.
The benefits of reading a water meter.
A municipal water bill is generated by reading of the water meter and the numbers are converted to monetary value using municipal tariffs, which differ from municipality to municipality. It is a great idea to learn how to read your water meter so that you know exactly how much water you are using.
You can also detect leaks on your property by taking water meter readings. Take a water meter reading and wait for 30 minutes, making sure that no water is used during this time. After 30 minutes take another reading. If there has been a change, there may be a leak on your property.
Reading your water meter to check your water consumption:
· Read the water meter at the same time on a regular basis e.g. every day, once a week, once a month. To get the amount of water used in the period between readings, take the current reading minus the previous reading.
For more information on leak-fixing and water meters and how to read them, please visit www.randwater.co.za and click on the Water Wise logo or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.