Putting a Lid on Water Leaks in Tampa Bay to Lessen Water Damage

According to the City of Tampa Bay Florida, up to a quarter of water use in the home goes to leaks. One of its sources is from the toilet flapper. As such, the city has a "Put a Lid on Leaks" program to educate residents on the occurrence of water damage in Tampa Bay.

Most of the leaks come from the toilet so part of the program encourages the improvement of the toilet flapper. Most water closets have rubber mechanisms called as flappers. These devices hold the water inside the tank right until there is a need to flush. As time passes, flappers can begin to show signs of wear and tear. When this happens, the flappers do not function properly and lead to water damage in Tampa Bay.

A leaky flapper can lead to the wastage of hundreds of gallons of water each day. What is unique about the toilet leaks is that they can be quite difficult to detect. Unlike other types of leaks, the flapper does not produce any sound. A damaged flapper can be diagnosed only through the use of specially designed dye tablets.

In order to alleviate the water damage in Tampa Bay that comes from leaky flappers, the Tampa Water Department has come up with a solution: education. Aside from the brochures that are given out, there is also a special door hanger that provides information on how to check for flapper leaks. These are given out to communities, schools, environmental groups, as well as neighborhood associations. These hangers come with dye tablets so that residents can check if there are leaks.

Aside from improving the flappers, there are other ways to lessen water leaks in properties. Retrofitting is a process that involves the installation of inexpensive devices to modify existing plumbing fixtures. Some of these devices restrict flow or the volume needed to function.

Getting rid of the old fixtures is a simple yet effective way of protecting the drinking water supply as well as lessening the risk of damage from leaks. Unless the home was constructed in the past 15 years, the plumbing that is in place probably does not use water conservation fixtures. According to the National Energy Protection Act of 1994, water-saving plumbing fixtures should be used.

Toilets can be retrofit first because they use the most amount of water in the home. The existing five-gallon tank can be replaced. Another instance of retrofitting is in the showers. The average showerhead makes use of five to ten gallons of water. Replacing the showerhead with a low-flow model can save up to six gallons per minute. This figure translates to a 40 to 65 percent in savings.

The bathroom or kitchen faucet can have a flow of three gallons each minute. Through the installation of faucet aerators, water consumption can be cut by up to 50 percent. There is also less chance of overflow that can lead to flooding. The Tampa Water Department can provide residents with a faucet aerator at the request of the resident.

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