HOW DO I CHECK FOR LEAKS?
All water meters, regardless of type, have gauges on them that show if your meter is registering water usage. In the case above, it’s the placeholder to the right of the decimal. Here are two simple checks you can do:
Checking for a Toilet Leak
Step 1 - Carefully remove the toilet tank lid. Place a dye tablet or some food coloring in the tank.
Step 2 - After 15 minutes, check the water in your toilet bowl. If the water is coloured, you've got a leak. Toilet repairs may require the assistance of a plumber.
To check for leaks elsewhere such as pipes
Step 1 - Turn off all water faucets, dishwashers, washing machines, and anything else that may use water.
Step 2 - After all faucets are turned off, newer meters have Leak Detectors that measure water usage in tiny increments. If your Leak Detector arrow is moving, you may have an undetected leak in your house.
A leaking service line or pipe in your home can add up to a significant amount of water waste. A small hole in a pipe has known to waste a substantial amount of water in a two-month period.
Continual leaking from this size hole could cost you from several hundred dollars to thousands of dollars depending on the diameter of the pipe. A dripping faucet or fixture can waste over 11 litres a day ... a total of 4015 litres a year.
WHERE DOES OUR WATER COME FROM?
The Town of Didsbury's water source is through the Mountain View Regional Water Services Commission. The regional water treatment plant west of Innisfail services over 25,000 people in the communities of Innisfail, Bowden, Olds, Didsbury, Carstairs, and Crossfield.
The Town of Didsbury has a member of Council as it's representative on the Commission.
Anthony Henday Water Treatment Plant: Site 22, RR1, Box 1, Innisfail, Alberta.
HOW DO I KNOW MY WATER IS SAFE TO DRINK?
Visit the Mountain View Regional Water Services Commission's website for more information on water quality and to view Public Notices/Water Quality Reports.
WHY SHOULD I TRY TO REDUCE MY WATER USAGE?
Water is our most precious resource. Doing everything in our power to prevent water waste helps to conserve this vital resource while saving money. Two main sources of water waste are leaks and the over-watering of lawns and gardens. For many properties, the first suspicion of a leak occurs when high water consumption is noticed on the water bill. Always check your water bill for abnormal consumption.
WHY DO I SMELL CHLORINE IN THE WATER?
Chlorine is a disinfectant used in the treatment process year-round. During the Spring Runoff, some of the remaining organic material reacts with the chlorine in the treated water. This makes the "swimming pool" smell more noticeable in the spring.
HOW CAN I USE LESS WATER OUTSIDE?
Most lawns receive far more water than they need for a healthy appearance. The key to watering lawns is to apply the water infrequently, yet thoroughly, creating a deep, well-rooted lawn that efficiently uses water stored in the soil.
A good rule of thumb is to apply 1-inch (2.5 cm) of water once a week, before 9:00 am, to avoid excessive evaporation. Set your sprinkler up so that you avoid watering patios, driveways, and sidewalks.
HOW LONG WILL THE TASTE AND SMELL LAST?
Each Spring is different, but on average runoff, conditions last between three and six weeks. Mountain run-off in late June and early July can also cause run-off conditions, as will heavy rainfall events.
IS FLUORIDE ADDED TO THE WATER IN DIDSBURY?
There is no added fluoride in the water. However, fluoride occurs naturally in the water at low levels between 0.10 - 0.19 mg per litre.
HOW CAN I REDUCE MY WATER USAGE?
It’s easy to find small ways around the house to reduce unnecessary water usage.
- Turn off the tap or reduce its flow when you are not actively using water to brush your teeth, wash your face or hands, or to rinse off soapy dishes. For a family, this small act will reduce your water usage by about 31 litres per day.
- Installing HET, low-flush or dual-flush toilets will reduce water use by up to 63 litres per person per day.
- Run your dishwasher and washing machine only when they are fully loaded, reducing usage by about 132 litres of water a week.
- Installing low-flow showerheads and having shorter showers will reduce this usage by up to 50 litres per 10-minute shower.
- Get yourself a rain barrel or two to capture rainwater for use in the garden any type of barrel will work fine.
WHY DOES THE WATER TASTE AND SMELL DIFFERENT DURING SPRING RUN-OFF?
The Red Deer River is the source of drinking water for the Town of Didsbury and area residents. Because the river picks up mud, silt, and other organic material during Spring Runoff, these materials can give the water an earthy odor and taste. The Anthony Henday Water Treatment Plant removes most of these organics, however, due to their high levels during the Spring Runoff, enough of the organics may remain to be noticeable.
SHOULD I BE CHECKING FOR LEAKS?
Yes. Left long enough, even a slow undetected drip or silent leak can cost you hundreds of dollars a year. Make it a habit to check your home for leaks on a regular basis.
High volume water leaks often come from toilets. They are hard to detect and are usually caused by worn or misaligned parts.
A toilet that continues to run after flushing could be wasting 20-40 litres per hour - that's 175,000 to 350,000 litres (175 to 350 cubic meters) per year, enough water to fill a swimming pool. Leaks can cost you up to several hundred dollars per year!
WHY IS MY WATER USAGE ESTIMATED?
Very few accounts will show an estimated read. If your bill shows an estimate, please call the Utilities Department at 403.335.2030.
I'VE NOTICED A SLIGHT COLOUR TO THE WATER WHEN FILLING THE SINK OR TUB. WHY IS THIS?
Organic material will actually dissolve and stain the water a light brown colour, similar to the action of tea leaves in a cup. The treatment process removes most of the colour, however, at times when the organic load is high, some colour may be carried into the treated water.
IS THE WATER SAFE TO DRINK DURING SPRING RUN-OFF?
Yes. The water in the Town of Didsbury distribution system meets or exceeds all Federal and Provincial environmental standards. The Town performs rigorous testing to ensure water quality and continually upgrades the infrastructure and processes to meet improving environmental standards.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST WATER-WASTERS?
The average Canadian uses 326 litres of water per day; this amount increases to 440 litres per day during the summer months.
Undetected leaks of all kinds can easily double your water bill or much worse in 30 days. In an average household, 30% of water is used for toilet flushing, 35% is used for showers/baths, 20% for laundry, 10% for cooking and drinking, 5% for cleaning.
Toilets are notorious for hidden or silent leaks because leaks are seldom noticed unless the toilet "runs” after each flush. Check your toilets for leaks regularly. Replace old, inefficient or leaky toilets with HET (High-Efficiency Toilets), Low-flush or Dual-flush toilets.
Outdoor Hoses. A thirsty garden uses a lot of water. The average garden hose has an output of 35 litres per minute. At this rate, running a hose or sprinkler for half-an-hour uses 1050 litres of water. Plus, if you accidentally leave your hose dribbling or dripping, you can waste an astounding amount of water.
Long Showers and high-flow faucets/showerheads. A 10-minute shower uses an average of 100 liters of water. Low-flow showerheads and faucets may reduce your usage in these areas by half.
WHAT IS THE WATER'S TOTAL HARDNESS IN DIDSBURY?
The range of total hardness is between 170 - 230 mg/L
HOW DOES THE COMPUTER ESTIMATE MY USAGE?
Should your bill show an estimated read, the bill is calculated on your average use in the last 24 months.
WHAT IS SPRING RUN-OFF?
Spring Runoff refers to the high water flows encountered when warmer temperatures cause snow in the watershed to melt. This can cause higher than normal stream flows and flooding in low lying areas. This meltwater will carry with it dead and decaying organic material such as last year's leaves and grasses as well as mud and silt stirred up by faster-moving water.
HOW CAN I COMBAT THE SMELL AND TASTE?
Residents can put water in a pitcher to let it aerate. Adding lemons or filtering through a consumer charcoal filter can also help improve the smell and taste.