Little Quilcene Diversion
Water Conservaton FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)
Reporting and Responsibility for Fixing Leaks
Water leaks between the street and customer meter are the City’s responsibility to repair. Please call the Public Works Department 385-7212 or Water Distribution Crew Chief 379-4434 to report suspected leaks. Leaks in the home or in the line between the home and customer meter are the customer’s responsibility. The customer may repair leaks on their side of the meter if able, otherwise contact a plumber for assistance.
How to Determine If You Have a Water Leak
The best method for determining whether a leak exists is to take actual water meter readings. This method checks the home or business’ entire internal plumbing system for water leaks. Take a water meter reading just before going to bed or when no one will use any water for several hours. Take another meter reading in the morning before any water is used or after a few hours of non-use. The two readings should be the same. If not and you cannot account for use by a humidifier, ice maker, water softener, water filter or other use, you have a leak, and further investigation is recommended. Most meters the City uses have a small white triangle in the center of the meter that serves as a low flow indicator. If the triangle is spinning with all water turned off it is also an indication of a leak.
Repairing Water Leaks
Surveys show that majority of the leaks in residential plumbing systems are found at the toilet tank. Toilets leak at the bottom of the tank around the flapper plug or at the top of the tank into the overflow tube. To test the flapper plug, remove the lid from the toilet tank and add food coloring to the tank. Wait 15 minutes or so. If the coloring appears in the bowl, the flapper plug is leaking and should be repaired or replaced. The water level in the toilet tank should be approximately 1" below the top of the overflow tube. If the water level is at the overflow tube the leak may be occurring at the float shutoff valve. The float should be adjusted so that the water level in the tank is at least 1" below the top of the tube. Toilet tank leaks typically result from worn parts or misalignment of some part of the flushing mechanism.
Faucets are the other major source of water leaks. Replacing the o-ring or packing washer inside the valve can fix most drips.
Water leaks are costly. A slow drip can waste 15-20 gallons per day. It is not unusual for an unseen toilet leak to waste 100 or more gallons per day. Besides saving water, fixing the leaks will also save you money on your water and wastewater bill. Most toilet or faucets repairs can be done by a “do-it-yourselfer” but, if not, call a plumber.
Convert to low water use landscaping, known as Xeriscape. Select plants, shrubs, and trees that need minimal water.
Use drip irrigation for plants, shrubs, and trees.
Water your lawn and gardens early in the morning or later in the evening (but not too late, otherwise you will encourage fungal growth). Limit the water you use to approximately one inch per week, including rainfall. For best results, moisten the soil between 4 and 6 inches deep with each watering. This will encourage growth of a deep root structure that is more drought-resistant.
Use a broom to sweep up outdoors. Using water to wash down sidewalks, driveways, and pavements is wasteful.
A garden hose can use more than 10 gallons of water per minute. Use a spray nozzle with an automatic shutoff handle on your hose so water doesn't flow continuously.
Consider using a commercial car wash that recycles water.
If you have an older home, replace the toilets with water efficient models that use 1.6 gallons per flush or less.
Install low flow faucet aerators in the kitchen and bathrooms
New showerheads use 2.5 gallons per minute - up to 75 percent less than older showerheads.
Take showers instead of baths. A standard bathtub holds up to 50 gallons of water, whereas a normal shower would use less than 20 gallons. Shorter showers save water as well as energy used to heat the water.
Don't let the water run when you are shaving, brushing your teeth, or hand washing dishes. Turn on the tap only when you need it! Additionally, don’t use faucets at full pressure.
Consider purchasing a new water and energy efficient clothes washer and/or dishwasher.
Wash only full loads of laundry in your washing machine and full loads of dishes in your dishwasher. You'll not only save water, but energy as well.
Don't pre-rinse dishes. Check to see if your dishwasher can clean dishes without pre-rinsing them. Most new dishwashers don't require pre-rinsing.
Reuse clean household water. Collect all the water that is typically wasted while waiting for the hot water to reach your faucet or showerhead. Use this to water your houseplants or garden. Do the same with water that is used to boil eggs or steam vegetables.
The City will work with the local newspapers to inform the public in the event of a drought or conditions that impact our water supplies. Internet users can access the Department of Ecology web site below to see the current streamflow level in the Big Quilcene River: https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/wrx/wrx/flows/station.asp?sta=17A060.
Water Levels in the Big Quilcene River and Lords Lake
Links of Interest
Washington Department Of Health Office of Drinking Water drought information
Washington Department of Ecology Drought Information
American Water Works Association conservation information
H2OUSE Water Saver Home
Saving Water Partnership
Water Conservation Tips for:
Plumbing and Landscaping