Arlington Citizen-Journal

Here’s how you can fix that broken sprinkler, conserve and save on costly water bills

The sprinkler’s broken again, and that often means an expensive repair bill — along with a large water bill, especially if it happens when no one is at home.

The City of Arlington Water Utilities and Tarrant Regional Water District are teaming up to do something to help with the repair cost by sponsoring a pair of free “Care and Repair DIY Sprinkler System Workshops” on July 16 and Aug. 8 from 6:30-8 p.m. The July class will be at Arlington Public Library’s Lake Arlington Branch, 4000 W. Green Oaks Blvd. The August class will be at the George W. Hawkes Downtown Library, 100 S. Center St.

The classes will offer easy do-it-yourself tips for repairs and reducing the possibility of leaks. They will be led by water conservation expert Dr. Dotty Woodson, who recently retired from her role as Water Resources Program Specialist at Texas A&M University AgriLife Extension Service.

Maintaining sprinkler heads can not only save citizens money, but also the city. It is estimated that a single broken sprinkler head can contribute up to 25 thousand gallons of water waste in a six-month watering season.

“Arlington Water wants to give residents the tools they need to manage their own water use and their utilities bills,” said Traci Peterson, Arlington Water Utilities spokeswoman. “Finding and fixing problems with your sprinkler system is a great place to start.

“And our Know Your H2O website gives residents a way to see the benefits of their actions, by comparing monthly bills from the past 24 months. Remote read meter customers can even set alerts to let them know when they’re using more than they intended.”

The first 30 people to pre-register online for the workshop will receive a free moisture meter when they check in to the class. Visit https://webapps.arlingtontx.gov/Water/ConservationClassAppl/ to register.

Here are some tips from the City of Arlington to find indoor and outdoor leaks at home:

Check your water meter, write the number down, before and after a two-hour window when no water is being used. If the reading changes during that time, you may have a water leak.

Toilet leaks can be found by placing a food coloring drop into the tank at the back of the toilet. After 10 minutes, if you see any signs of the color in the bowl, you may have a leaky flapper that needs to be replaced.

To look for surface leaks, simply examine your faucet gaskets and pipe fittings. If you find water on the outside of the pipe, you may have a surface leak.

Arlington water customers with one of the city’s remotely-read water meters can view their daily water usage — and check for abnormally high usage that might indicated a leak — by logging in to the customer account access website. High usage alerts are also available for remote read meter customers.

Between October 2017 and September 2018, 213 Arlington residents participated in a free sprinkler evaluation program co-sponsored by the City of Arlington and Tarrant Regional Water District, the city’s raw water supplier. Sixty systems had at least one obstruction contributing to water waste. Of the participants, 114 had at least one broken spray body and 56 had at least one broken nozzle.

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