Water leaks in you home or business can be annoying and costly.
 
The sound of a faucet dripping or a toilet running in the night can mean your hard earned dollars are slipping away down a drain.  A water leak as small as a pinhead can waste about 25,000 gallons of water a month.  That could mean an additional water and sewer cost of $130 on your City Utilities' bill with no benefit to you.
 
Water leaks can be simple to find and fix and the benefits to your pocketbook and your sleep can be huge.  Here are some tips and resources for finding and fixing water leaks:
 
Get to Know Your Water Meter8740538115 5d22057869 z1
Your water meter is a great tool for helping you determine if you have a water leak.  Most water meters have a small red triangle that spins when water is going through the meter.  Find your water meter and look at it when you are sure no water is being used in your home.  If the red triangle is spinning and you know you are not using water, it is very likely that you have a leak.
 
dripping faucet shutterstock 232292416Faucets
A constantly dripping faucet wastes about 15 - 20 gallons of water a day -- water you pay for!  Faucets usually drip or leak because the seals, washers or O-rings inside are worn.  Replacing the pieces that help seal the faucets is relatively easy and there are many on-line resources that can help you see exactly what to do based on your faucet brand and configuration. 
 
Here's just one video that shows you what to do to fix a faucet with two handles.
 
If you're not a do-it-yourself type, you may want to call a plumber to do the job.  You could save the cost of the repair in just a few months of lower water bills.
 
Toilets

The toilet is the most common household water waster but it may not be as noticeable as a dripping faucet.  There are two main areas where toilets typically leak. 

At the bottom of the tank is a flush valve that opens when you flush to allow water to move from the tank into the toilet bowl.  If this valve does not close completely after the flush, water can continue to flow slowly into the bowl.  The siphon mechanism that makes the flush happen ensures that the bowl does not get too full and overflow.  Your toilet may appear to flush itself from time to time.  But this also means that water that leaks from the tank into the bowl will move into the sewer system.  This water is being wasted. 
 
To find out if the flush valve is leaking, put a few drops of food coloring into the toilet tank.  Wait 10 minutes then look in the toilet bowl.  If the water in the toilet is colored, the flush valve is leaking.  Be sure to flush the toilet immediately after doing this test to be sure the food coloring does not stain the inside of the tank or the bowl.
 
A leaking flush valve can be repaired with advice and parts from a hardware or home improvement store.  Read more......
 
Toilets may also run when the water level in the tank is too high because of a float that is not properly adjusted.  The tank fills with water through a fill valve.  The fill valve is controlled by a float which may look like a ball on an arm or like a plastic cup that floats up and down on the valve.  When the water level in the tank gets too high, the excess water will escape through an overflow tube into the toilet bowl.  Ideally the water level in the full tank should be 1 to 1 1/2 inches below the top of the overflow tube.  If the tank is getting too full, you need to lower the float level.  On top of the fill valve there will be a screw that attaches the float arm to the fill valve.  You can adjust the height of the float by turning the screw.  Turn the screw by quarter inches until the water level is correct.
 
A float cup on the fill valve is adjusted in much the same way.  There will be an adjustment screw on the top of the fill valve. When you turn the screw, this will adjust the height of the float.  Turn the screw a quarter of a turn counterclockwise to lower the float cup.  Flush the toilet to see if the adjustment is correct.  If the water in the tank is still too high, turn the screw another quarter of a turn.

2015


Partnership for Save Water 15-Year Director's Award                              US EPA and American Water Works Association (AWWA)
Fort Wayne's Three Rivers Water Filtration Plant has been recognized for 15 years of high quality water and continuous operational improvements. Fewer than 1% of the 11,500 surface water treatment plants in the country that might be eligible for this award have received the recognition.

2015 Gold Peak Performance Award for Water Pollution Control Plant                       National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA)
Fort Wayne's Water Pollution Control Plant received recognition for meeting its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit limits every single day in 2014. In presenting the award, the agency found that Fort Wayne's plant was compliant on every category monitored based on the results of over 10,000 water quality tests.

2015 Government Green Fleet Award                                                            American City and County Magazine
Fort Wayne has been recognized for the fifth year in a row for success in making its vehicle fleet greener. More than 500 of the City's 1,826 motorized vehicles are able to use the environmentally friendly E85, 365 vehicles use bio-diesel, 60 are hybrid vehicles and 10 run on electricity.

2015 Public Information and Education Award                                   National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA)
This award recognizes City Utilities' Rain Garden Program for its excellent ability to educate residents about ways to improve river water quality by planting rain gardens.

Sustainable Indiana Green Legacy Award                               Sustainable Indiana
Recognizes Fort Wayne's commitment to sustainability efforts including increasing energy independence at the sewage treatment plant by generating, capturing and reusing more methane to provide energy, changing traffic signals to energy efficient LED lighting, increasing residential recycling participation from 34% to 85% in five years to investments being made in the sewer system to improve river water quality.

Common household products such as vinegar, ammonia and baking soda can be used alone or in various combinations to create effective cleaning solutions that are more environmentally friendly than come commercially available products. Home-made products may also cost less.
 
White vinegar
Vinegar is acidic and is useful in removing dirt, soap scum and hard water deposits form surfaces. Vinegar can be diluted with water to clean everything from bathroom counter tops and sinks to hardwood floors. Undiluted vinegar may be used to eliminate stains and odors from the toilet bowl, to clean soap scum from shower walls and to remove hard water deposits from kitchen and bathroom fixtures. Place vinegar in a spray bottle and spray it on surfaces then wipe with a microfiber cloth or combine vinegar with warn water in a bucket for mopping. The vinegar odor will go away when the solution dries. For a non-allergenic fabric softener, add a half-cup of distilled white vinegar to the washing machine's rinse cycle in place of fabric softener.
 
Baking soda
Used on a damp sponge, baking soda is mildly abrasive and can be used in place of harsh scouring powders for bathtubs and sinks.
 
Ammonia
Ammonia is an alkaline solution, so it is stronger as a window or all-purpose cleaner than vinegar. Sudsing ammonia is available, but choose a non-sudsing type to avoid having to rinse after cleaning.
 
Rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol
This makes a good base for cleaners that will evaporate from shiny surfaces.
 
Here are recipes for hone-made cleaning produces that use common household ingredients.....
 
Spray Cleaner
Mix the following in a spray bottle:
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 20 drops of essential oil (optional)
Use in any location where you would use a commercial spray cleaner. Wipe dry with a reusable cloth.
 
Glass Cleaner
Mix the following in a spray bottle:
  • 1 cup (isopropyl) alcohol
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
Spray on windows or mirrors and wipe dry.
 
Floor Cleaner
Mix in a bucket for use with a cloth or mop:
  • 2 tablespoons non-sudsing ammonia
  • 1 teaspoon clear dishwashing liquid
  • 4 cups water
No rinsing necessary.
 
Furniture Polish
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 20 - 30 drops lemon essential oil
Combine in a small container. Dip a clean, dry cloth into the mixture and rub onto real wood furniture in the direction of the grain.
 
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl then add 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Let the mixture stand for 30 minutes then scrub the bowl with a toilet brush and flush.
 
For your safety -- Never mix ammonia-based cleaners or ammonia with chlorine bleach or products containing bleach. The fumes that are created can be extremely dangerous.
 

City Utilities values the many customers, businesses and professional partners that help make projects and programs successful. Working together, we can insure that Fort Wayne is a thriving, growing and fun place to live and do business, now and into the future. 

Each month City Utilities publishes brief program updates, reminders and other important information.  These updates may be found on the informational inserts that arrive with your City Utilities bill.  If you use paperless eBilling, you won't receive the bill inserts, but you may read them here on the website.  Read the latest utility bill inserts.


Resources for Businesses

Businesses are important partners when it comes to protecting water quality, maintaining a high-quality of life, and ensuring a strong economic future for the City.  Check out the resources City Utilities has created for you.


Resources for Customers

City Utilities has many resources available to help troubleshoot customer water problems and engage residents in protecting water quality.


Resources for Developers, Engineers & Contractors

The City Utilities' Design and Construction Resource Center provides general utility design resources, green design resources, and standard drawing and specification templates.


Resources for Realtors

Fort Wayne City Utilities provides important real estate related services such turning water on and off for home inspections, helping your clients establish utility services for the first time or transferring services from one address to another. Customer service is of the highest priority to City Utilities.

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