Water management doesn’t matter in the fall, right? Wrong!
The fall season is upon us, which means cooler temperatures and an increase in rainfall in many parts of the country. Unfortunately, as the temperature starts to cool, letting your water management efforts slide is easy.
Even though rainfall is more common during this time of year, water conservation is just as important in the fall as it is in the summer.
Here are five tips to help you manage water this fall.
Locate and Repair Dripping Pipes
Now is the time to fix dripping pipes around your home or unit! The EPA estimates that the average property’s leaks account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted yearly. Not only do leaky pipes waste water and money, but they can also cause severe damage to your building.
Water that leaks from pipes can cause poor water quality, warped and stained walls, invasive black mold, and tenant relocation. In extreme cases, the structural integrity of your building can be compromised.
Mold can also grow anywhere there is excess moisture or water; this includes under sinks and behind walls or areas where a recent flood occurred. Mold can cause serious health problems, so it is imperative to address any leaks as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more extensive the damage will be and the more money you will have to spend on repairs.
Locate and Repair Faulty Fixtures
According to the EPA, the commercial and institutional sector is the second largest consumer of publicly supplied water in the U.S., accounting for 17 percent of withdrawals from public water supplies.
A dripping faucet can waste around 3,000 gallons a year in water if left alone, and ten percent of properties have leaking fixtures that waste 90 gallons or more daily. Common leaks are worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves.
These common types of leaks are often easy to fix, requiring only a few tools and hardware that pay for themselves in water savings. Fixing these easily corrected water leaks can save property owners and managers about 10 percent on their water bills.
The EPA suggests replacing bathroom fixtures with more efficient models and checking any automatic sensors to ensure they operate correctly to avoid unnecessary water use.
Maintain Your Building’s Domestic Plumbing Central System
Booster pumps play a vital role in places like condominiums and commercial buildings, increasing water pressure to transport water across several floors. When booster pumps fail, the result can be highly disruptive to building tenants, with water pressure dropping and, in some cases, the water supply being cut off completely.
If you are responsible for the ongoing maintenance of a booster pump, you should aim to have it serviced annually. Preventative maintenance of your pumps through a regular pump service plan offers several benefits. Those benefits include a reduced risk of an unexpected breakdown, increased pump efficiency, and correction of minor problems before they turn into larger (and more expensive) ones.
Did you know valves also require regular exercise, including those in your boiler room? Exercising is as simple as fully opening and closing a valve for most valves. This easy exercise aims to dislodge corrosion or sediment that will ultimately cause it to seize. Regular valve exercise should be part of your boiler room maintenance to ensure the valves last much longer and be operational when needed, like during an emergency.
Clean Your Gutters and Winterize your Irrigation Systems
It’s imperative to keep your gutters clean during the fall season, as they help divert rainwater away from your property. If gutters become clogged with leaves and debris, water can back up and cause damage to your roof, foundation, and landscaping.
It’s also critical to winterize your irrigation system. Winterizing protects the complex components of your irrigation system from the harmful effects of cold winter weather. If you fail to winterize your system before the first freeze of the season, it can easily break if any water left inside the pipes freezes. The winterizing process ensures the system is free of any water that can freeze and ultimately cause the system to break or malfunction.
The consequences of not winterizing your sprinkler system range from yard flooding to damage to system valves, pipes, and sprinkler heads. The EPA estimates that an irrigation system with a small leak can waste around 6,300 gallons of water per month.
Measure Your Water Usage
The easiest way to monitor your water usage is with a water meter. Believe it or not, measuring your water usage is one of the most essential steps to conserving water. Without understanding how much water you consume, you won’t know how much progress you’ve made toward reducing your water consumption.
Another essential benefit of using a water meter and monitoring your water consumption is that it can help detect any hidden leaks in your property. For example, suppose you haven’t changed your habits and notice spikes in your water consumption. In that case, this may be an indication that there’s a leak hidden somewhere.
By following these simple tips, you can make a big difference in your water consumption this fall – and help preserve this vital resource for future generations.