Students in Maine fix water leaks and recommend efficiency measures during Fix a Leak Week
The Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) and the International Assn. of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) Green Plumbers Training program are teaming up to fix water leaks and recommend efficiency measures during the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Fix a Leak Week March 18 to 24.
During the fifth annual Fix a Leak Week, EPA’s WaterSense program encourages Americans to check, twist and replace leaky plumbing fixtures and sprinkler systems, helping households save more than 10,000 gal of water per year and as much as 10% on utility bills.
This year, students in the Energy Services and Technology program at KVCC are helping their college save water by doing water audits and identifying water leaks, assisting the school’s maintenance department and promoting the results to students and the local community.
“This is an exceptional opportunity for our students to not only learn valuable lessons about water conservation, but have experiential learning, which will also have a direct impact on our campus,” said Dana Doran, KVCC’s director of energy programs.
IAPMO hopes to promote the KVCC model to other schools and colleges across the country.
“EPA is proud to highlight the efforts taken by these organizations during Fix a Leak Week this year,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator for EPA’s New England office. “Students learning how a few simple steps can make a positive environmental impact while also saving money on utility bills is a lesson that will not only benefit the school, but also the places the students carry their knowledge to in the future.”
It is not hard to perform your own water audit at home or in the office. In just 10 minutes, businesses and homeowners can check winter water bills and fixtures for water waste; twist and tighten pipe and hose connections; and consider replacing broken or inefficient fixtures with WaterSense-labeled models.
- If winter water usage for a family of four exceeds 12,000 gal per month, it is likely that the home has a leak problem. Here are some easy tips:
- Check toilets for silent leaks by putting a few drops of food coloring in the tank at the back and, if after 10 minutes, color shows up in the bowl before flushing, it may be time to make an easy repair and replace the flapper.
- Check outdoor hoses for damage from winter frost and tighten connections at the water source.
- For in-ground sprinkler systems, a professional certified through a WaterSense-labeled program can inspect sprinkler heads and pipes for signs of leakage and help homeowners maintain an efficient system and healthy lawn.
- Check additional plumbing and outdoor fixtures for leaks. They may just need a quick twist or pipe tape.