Agency asks users to look out for leaks
Following an unusually dry spring and facing parch summer months, Oahu residents are being urged to fix their leaky faucets and conserve water to prevent a shortage.
Free toilet leak detection dye tablets are available at all satellite city halls, City Mill stores and the Board of Water Supply lobby at 630 S. Beretania St. Homeowners can win a free home leak inspection by mailing in the entry form on all Detect-a-Leak Week fliers by June 7, available at above locations, and online at www.boardofwatersupply.com.
How to check for leaks:
Turn off all devices that use water. Locate water meter near the sidewalk area fronting your home. If the red arrow or small black triangle on the meter is moving, you have a leak. Call a licensed plumber.
To check for a leaky toilet:
Remove the toilet tank cover and drop in a blue dye tablet or drops of food coloring. Wait 10-15 minutes. If color appears in the toilet bowl, you have a leak.
Check the flapper valve regularly and replace it when necessary.
To check for underground leaks:
Wet spots and areas where grass is significantly greener indicate a broken underground pipe.
Source: Honolulu Board of Water Supply
That is the major message of the Honolulu Board of Water Supply's 18th annual Detect-a-Leak Week campaign, which runs Sunday through June 7.
In partnership with City Mill Home Improvement Centers, the Sierra Club Oahu Group and the Chamber of Commerce, the water agency is offering free toilet leak detection kits, and home leak inspection.
Su Shin, Board of Water Supply spokesman, said Oahu is not in any danger of a water shortage yet in its underground aquifers, but people tend to use more water during the traditionally dry summer. Neighbor islands, which rely partially on surface water reservoirs, usually feel the effects of a drought faster because water is depleted more quickly through evaporation, she explained.
The Board of Water Supply does not foresee any restrictions on water use in the coming months, but with water supply and use always unpredictable, "We don't want to waste our precious water before (it becomes) critical," she said.
"We really want people to make conservation a way of life, not only do it when they absolutely have to. We want to stretch the supply so it's sustainable for any generation," Shin said.
The agency is "encouraging people to retrofit their fixtures -- putting an aerator in their faucet can save thousands of gallons of water," she said, as well as replacing "an old toilet that uses three gallons per flush with one that uses only 1.2 gallons per flush. It makes a dramatic difference. ... Just very, very simple things."
For more on detecting and fixing leaks, seven major tips are available on the Web site www.boardofwatersupply.com; or call 748-5041.
According to the Board of Water Supply, the agency has helped customers save more than 518,000 gallons of water and at least $1,525 a year through the Detect-a-Leak home inspection. The average single-family home in Hawaii wastes more than 1,800 gallons of water every month, the release said.