Why Conserve Water?
Water is our most valuable natural resource, and water conservation has become a common (and sometimes essential) practice even in areas where water seems abundant.
In addition to saving money on your utility bill, water conservation helps prevent water pollution in nearby water sources and raises overall environmental awareness.
Conserving water can also extend the life of your septic system by reducing soil saturation, and reducing any pollution due to leaks. Overloading municipal sewer systems can also cause untreated sewage to flow to nearby watersheds, lakes and rivers. The smaller the amount of water flowing through these systems, the lower the likelihood of pollution. In some communities, costly sewage system expansion has been avoided by community-wide household water conservation.
The Town of Kindersley ask residents to practice general water conservation to assist the Town in meeting the water demands of the community. Water conservation is also a long-term contribution that we can make toward preserving our environment.
Ways you can practice water conservation:
- Check faucets and pipes for leaks
- Check your toilets for leaks
- Take quicker showers
- Don't use the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket
- Install water-saving shower heads and low-flow faucet aerators
- Insulate your water pipes
- Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush
- Use your dishwasher and washing machine only for full loads
- Avoid filling your sink to capacity when washing dishes
- Soak pots and pans before washing
- Keep cold drinking water in the fridge rather than running the tap
- Plant drought-resistant lawns, shrubs and plants
- Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants
- Don't water the gutter
- Avoid watering lawns during peak hours of the day when it is warmer
With the arrival of spring temperatures, Kindersley residents are encouraged to consider potential flooding risks in and around their properties and to take steps to minimize the damage.
Ways to Prevent or Reduce Spring Flooding
- Check eavestroughs and downspouts to determine if they are filled with snow or blocked with ice. Depending upon their condition, once the snow begins to melt, you may need to take steps to clear the eavestroughs in order to allow water flow.
- When your eavestroughs and downspouts are flowing, ensure that they extend at least 6 feet from your basement walls. Also ensure that the water will not be draining onto your neighbour’s property.
- If the lot grading around your house slopes in towards the foundation, take the time to clear the snow away from your house. This will reduce some of the snow melt from draining towards your basement walls.
- If you have been prone to basement flooding in the past, consider obtaining and installing a backup sump pump.
- Check your sump pump to ensure that it is functioning and consider scheduling a maintenance check if you have concerns about the working condition.
- Consider installing a back flow valve. You can contact a qualified plumber to discuss options regarding this prevention technique.
- If you already have a back flow valve, ensure that the valve is operating properly and that you access it at any time.
- Take a look around your basement and consider relocating or protecting items that are irreplaceable. Do you have family photos albums and memorabilia stored in a location potentially affected by basement flooding? Storage in plastic tubs, or relocation to another, drier part of the house might be in order.
- Finally, consider purchasing insurance to cover your belongings in the event of sewer backup.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
- Know where to find your main water shut-off valve and how it works (in case your pipes burst).
- Insulate pipes most prone to freezing, especially near outside walls and in crawl spaces, the attic and garage. This can be done with foam pipe covers available from building supply or home improvement stores.
- Seal air leaks in your home and garage to stop cold air from getting in. Check around windows and doors, electrical wiring, dryer vents and pipes.
- Outdoor faucets are the first to freeze. Unscrew any hoses, turn off the outdoor water supply and let the taps drain.
- If your pipes are prone to freezing, there may be a problem you cannot see. Consider contacting a plumber for advice on how best to protect your home.
- Commercial water customers - protect fire lines by wrapping all lines exposed to the cold.
What to do when the temperature drops well below zero
- Ensure areas that contain indoor water pipes are kept above 8 degrees Celsius, especially near the water meter.
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen, bathroom and laundry cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around the plumbing.
- If leaving for an extended period of time, turn off the water at the main service valve in the basement and open the taps to drain the water from your plumbing lines. You may also wish to have someone check your home regularly.
- For your own peace of mind, you can choose to run a pencil-thin stream of water to ensure some movement of water in the pipes. However, you will be charged for the water used if you choose this step.
- Run cold water from the lowest point in the house, usually a laundry room sink or tub.
- Ensure the drain is kept clear of debris to prevent overflowing or flooding.
How to thaw frozen pipes in your home
If you turn on your taps and have no water, the pipes in your home may be frozen. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
Remember: Do not use a torch with an open flame to thaw pipes, as it creates a fire hazard; and ensure you know the location of your master water shut-off valve. If the pipe breaks you will need to immediately shut off the water in your house until the pipe is repaired.
- Turn on a tap in the basement, preferably the cold water faucet in the laundry room.
- Apply heat to the suspected frozen pipe by warming the air around it or applying heat directly to the pipe. You can use an electric heating pad, hair dryer, space heater or warm towel or rag.
- Do not leave electrical devices unattended, or use kerosene or propane heaters, charcoal stoves or any open flame to thaw a frozen pipe.
- Depending on the outside temperature and the extent of freezing within the pipe, the thawing process could take between one and six hours.
- Once the pipes have thawed, turn the water back on slowly and check for cracks and leaks.
If the above steps do not resolve the issue, you are unable to locate the frozen area, or it is not accessible, you may wish to contact a licensed plumber for advice.
Protecting Mobile Home Water Meters
As a mobile home occupant, there are some specific actions or considerations that you or the property owner should undertake during winter months. These will ensure that your water meter and pipe infrastructure remain in good use and free of incidents that may require repairs during colder months.
Here are some tips to make you more successful in prevent water maintenance this winter:
- Water pipes and meters should be heat taped and wrapped with insulation to prevent freezing. (Unlike in homes with permanent foundations, mobile home meters are exposed to outdoor temperatures underneath the structure.)
The best way to apply heat tape is to wrap the tape in a figure 8 pattern around the base of the meter. The heat tape should be applied
starting where the line comes out of the ground up to the bottom of the home of your home.
- If there already is heat tape and insulation applied, check it in the fall and periodically over the winter months to ensure the heat tapeisworking.
Effective heat tape should be soft or warm to the touch. If in doubt, replace it.
Please also note:
- If your water meter breaks due to freezing, the cost of replacing the meter is the responsibility of the homeowner or tenant.
- If a leak is detected, try to determine if it is the water meter or the piping causing the leak. If the issue is with pipes, seek advice from a plumber. It is the responsibility of the homeowner or tenant to ensure there are no leaks.
We hope this information assists in providing you with a worry-free winter. For any additional questions, please contact the Town of Kindersley at 306-463-2675