(Excerpt from the part of Press Release)
San Francisco, CA – The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is encouraging consumers to fix leaks. Fixing leaks is one of the best, easiest ways to conserve water and save money on water bills. Most importantly, fixing leaks will help stretch limited Hetch Hetchy water supplies while drought conditions persist throughout California. In January, the SFPUC asked customers of the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System to voluntarily curtail water consumption. The request applies to all residential, commercial, industrial, municipal and wholesale customers. The goal is to reduce system-wide usage by at least 10%.
More than 1 trillion gallons of water are wasted in U.S. homes each year from easy-to-fix leaks. Last year, nearly half of the 500 homes that participated in an SFPUC Water Wise Evaluation had leaks – one third of those households had leaking toilets.
The SFPUC water conervation expert Sue Tensfeld says, “Plumbing fixtures like anything else need to be maintained over time like a car, parts break, things start to fail, items need to be replaced and repair over time. We’ve seen that waste up to 3 or 4 thousand gallons a day. So that’s a 20 dollar a day leak or more for customers.”
As of this week, total Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System storage stands at 69.1% of maximum storage capacity. The Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, which comprises 85% of the entire system supply, is at 51.5% of maximum capacity. “Normally in this region, we get about 20 inches rain per year. We’re at about 8 to 8.5 inches of rain. So we definitely need more rain in order to fill up our reservoirs,” said Tensfeld.
Snowpack levels at Hetch Hetchy also increased by 10% in the past few weeks but are still only 32% of median April 1 snowpack conditions. Locally, Bay Area watersheds to-date have only received 33% of normal average annual precipitation.
The SFPUC water conservation experts provide free Home Water-Wise Evaluations, which include leak detection services, free water-saving and leak repair devices and water-efficiency recommendations for the home and garden. To schedule an appointment, please call (415) 551-4730. Free showerheads, faucet aerators and standard toilet leak repair parts are also available to San Francisco residents at the SFPUC’s customer service office at 525 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102. Learn more at sfwater.org/conservation.