Did you know that the average home can waste up to 10,000 gallons a year due to leaky sprinkler systems, a dripping faucet, a running toilet and other household leaks? [Slide shows a drawing of a house filling up with water. 10,000 gallons each year.]
[Mark Brown, Pulaski County, U of A Division of Agriculture Research and Extension University of Arkansas System.] This is Mark Brown, Pulaski County cooperative extension agent, and we have partnered with Central Arkansas Water to help promote Fix-A-Leak Week, March 12th through the 17th.
Fix-A-Leak Week is a national program sponsored by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and also its water sense partners. [Slide - Central Arkansas Water. University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Research and Extension University of Arkansas System. EPA Water Sense. Fix-A-Leak Week, March 12-17, 2012.]
This program is aimed at helping protect our nation’s water supply and helps promote wise water use inside and outside of the home. [Pictures of various types of sprinklers and excess water running down a street into a storm drain.]
[Mark] Central Arkansas Water will kick off its local campaign the week of March 12th through the 17th, with incentives for homeowners to fix those leaks and to practice wise water use. Low-flow showerheads, rain gauges and other water-saving materials will be available for customers.
Lawn-irrigation systems are common sources of water leaks. Even a small leak in a below-ground sprinkler system can waste up to half a gallon of water per minute without being noticed. [Pictures of sprinklers.]
[Mark showing a RPZ valve.] An important part of a sprinkler system to check for leaks is the RPZ valve, also known as a backflow preventer. These valves are taken off in the fall and then reinstalled in the springtime. So it’s very important to check these valves at the connecting points or any seals to check to make sure there are no leaks.
During the winter time, the ground freezes, thaws and then freezes again. This can cause pipes to break, joints and connectors to become loose, and develop leaks and cracks in them as well. So all this can be easily detected with just a quick, thorough walkthrough of your sprinkler system in the springtime. [Mark shows an example of sprinkler pipes, connectors and heads.]
[Mark shows a garden hose.] For those homeowners that irrigate their landscape with a garden hose, be sure to visually inspect and check the hose for any cracks or holes that may have developed during the winter. Replace hoses every summer, if possible. This can eliminate holes or cracks that may develop during the summer months.
[Mark shows gaskets on a garden hose and a sprinkler.] Check seals and gaskets of your garden hoses and also your sprinklers to make sure that they or missing altogether. If these seals or gaskets are faulty, they can cause major leaks at all the connecting points of your sprinkler system.
[Mark] With these few tips, you can help prevent wasteful watering and become more water-efficient.
For more information on Fix-A-Leak Week, March 14th through 20th, go to carkw.com or the University of Arkansas Extension website at uaex.edu. [Slide – Fix-A-Leak Week – Outside Leaks March 12-17, 2012. Central Arkansas Water www.carkw.com. University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Research and Extension University of Arkansas System www.uaex.edu.]