Phoenix seeks to curb water waste with participation in “Fix a Leak Week”

The Phoenix Water Services Department wants you to fix that leaky toilet – and to share your work with the world.

Working with the Environmental Protection Agency to help residents engage in “Fix a Leak Week,” the water department is taking to the web in its latest conservation effort.

Fix a Leak Week, spanning from March 14 to 20, is part of EPA’s WaterSense program. According to an EPA fact sheet on the campaign, it is “an annual reminder to Americans to check household plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems for leaks.”

Over 1 trillion gallons of water a year in U.S. homes are wasted because of minor leaks, the fact sheet states.

“We’re entering the fifth year of drought in many parts of the Southwest. Now is really a critical time to embrace all different ways to reduce household water use,” said Charlotte Ely, the WaterSense liaison for the Pacific Southwest EPA regional office. “Fixing leaks is a simple and inexpensive way to save water in the home.”

Facebook post

Screenshot of city of Phoenix Water Services Department Facebook post.

Phoenix is utilizing Facebook and Twitter to get residents educated and involved in the campaign. A caption contest is being held on the Phoenix Water Facebook account. Residents are encouraged to write a caption for the picture posted, and the writer of the winning caption will receive a water bottle. There will be four winners, Stephanie Bracken, public information officer for the Phoenix Water Services Department, said. The contest will be over at the end of Fix a Leak Week.

Twitter post

Twitter screenshot from Fix a Leak Week AZ account.

There is also a Fix a Week Leak AZ twitter account. On the Phoenix Fix a Leak Week webpage, the city asks residents to include hashtags #smartpig, #fixaleak and #AZWater when sharing their leak repairs on social media.

Finding and fixing leaks is very important, but also very easy, Ely said. Evaluating your water use is one way to find out if your home might have a leak.

“You can check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, you probably have leak,” Ely said.

She also explained a quick, leak-finding test.

“A very specific way to find a leak in your toilet is to place a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If the color shows up in the bowl within 10 minutes without flushing you know you have a leak.”

Both Phoenix and the EPA are providing educational materials to help residents in the process. Bracken said they hope to build efforts for Phoenix Fix a Leak Week each year.