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Conservation Tips from SWD16

Locate Your Master Valve
The master water supply shut-off valve controls water flow into the home. It is important that everyone in the household knows where it is located. If there is an emergency, you will need to know in a hurry. You cannot afford to waste precious time searching while the basement floods or the carpets are drenched.

Here's a handy Homeowner's Guide to Leak Detection.

Here are some likely locations:

Where the water supply enters the home, such as the foundation or garage

Near the clothes washer hookup

Near the water heater

A simple procedure can detect leaks that may exist anywhere in your home.

  1. Locate your water meter.
  2. Turn off all water - inside and outside. Leave your master valve open.
  3. Read your meter and write down the figure. Your meter may have a small triangle for detecting leaks. Note if this is moving.
  4. Wait 15 to 20 minutes and read your meter again.
  5. If the figure has changed, there is a leak somewhere. Your next step is to find it. Is the leak inside your home or in the service line?
  6. Turn the water off at your master valve.
  7. Repeat steps 3 and 4.
  8. If the figure changes again, the leak is in the service line. If the figure does not change, the leak is past the master valve and probably inside your home.

If the leak is in your service line, you can attempt to fix it yourself or contact a plumber. If the leak is inside your home, continue to check for leaks in your toilets, faucets and appliances.

To detect leaks in irrigation systems, you must first know where that system ties into your home's water system. Newer systems usually are connected between the meter box and the master valve. A leak would be detected in step 8. Older systems may be connected in the home or beyond the master valve. Leaks would be detected in step 5.


Efficient water use can save you money on water & utility bills.

Clean vegetables in a pan of water and not under a running faucet. Water used to clean vegetables can also be used to water houseplants.

Check faucets and pipes for leaks. A small drip can waste 20 or more gallons of water per day.

Each flush wastes water. Don't use the toilet as a wastebasket.

Keep a bottle or pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator. This eliminates letting the tap run while waiting for the water to get cold.

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