The Henry County Water and Sewerage Authority's Denise Caldwell (left) shows Krista Sharpe how to read her water meter, during a Fix-a-Leak Week event, at Lowe's of McDonough.
By Jason A. Smith
Water usage was on the minds of area residents during a yearly event recently, sponsored by the Henry County Water & Sewerage Authority (HCWSA) and a local home-improvement store.
The HCWSA and Lowe's Home Improvement, at 101 Willow Lane in McDonough, hosted their third annual Fix-a-Leak Week in March. The focus of the occasion was wise-water usage, and reduced water loss, according to Tonja Halton-Mincey, environmental specialist for the water authority.
Both of those messages, she said, are getting people's attention in today's economy.
"The Fix-a-Leak event at Lowe's was very successful, as we were able to speak to numerous homeowners, renters and property managers who were interested in how to find and fix leaky toilets, faucets, shower heads, and other [plumbing] fixtures," she said. "I think that we were able to give them many helpful ideas."
Lowe's and the Henry County Water & Sewerage Authority provided information on identifying and repairing indoor, and outdoor, water leaks, said Chris Wood, spokesman for the water authority. He said about a dozen water authority employees were on hand, to assist the public with concerns about their water usage.
"They took time out of their own personal schedule to volunteer," said Wood. "We had really good store traffic, and saw a lot of people."
Customers in attendance also received information about how to read their water bills properly. Doing so will help homeowners to detect leaks more quickly, according to Wood.
"If you see a spike in your bill, it's not going to be because a rate increase was implemented that month," Wood explained. "It's going to be because consumption was up. If it's a winter month, and you're not watering your grass, and you see a spike, that's a good indication that you might have a leak. We assume everybody's paying attention to their bill. Just make sure that it's consistent every month."
The in-store occasion, he said, is part of Fix-a-Leak Week, which was observed nationwide, March 14-20. The week-long observance is affiliated with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) WaterSense Program.
"WaterSense is a program that seeks to protect the future of the nation's water supply, by promoting household water efficiency and wise water use, and by enhancing local consumer markets for water-efficient products, programs, and practices," said Wood. "The HCWSA has been an EPA WaterSense promotional partner since 2008, and Lowe's was the EPA WaterSense 2010 Partner of the Year."
Fix-a-Leak Week, Halton-Mincey said, is one of the Henry County Water & Sewerage Authority's efforts to promote wise-water use for customers.
"I hope they'll [residents will] understand how much water they lose from leaks," she said. "I want them to know how to read their water bills, how to check for leaks, and promote other simple ways to save water."
Halton-Mincey credited the leadership at Lowe's for their willingness to assist with the project. "Lowe's has been a wonderful partner, and they're eager to help us in any way they can, to promote this event," she said.
For more information, visit www.epa.gov/watersense/fixaleak, or the water authority's web site, at www.hcwsa.com.