By Cathy Rymer, Chandler Water Conservation Coordinator
In 2012, 199 Chandler water audit participants saved over 10 million gallons of water after following advice from the city’s water conservation staff. That’s a lot of water and it also means hundreds of dollars saved by residents.
A water audit is simply a free on-site evaluation of water-using fixtures, hardware, equipment, landscaping, and management practices to determine the efficiency of your home’s water use. Once an audit is requested a Chandler Water Conservation Specialist will tour the property to show how you can locate leaks and learn practical ways to repair them. You’ll even receive money-saving rebate and incentive information. Best of all, your appointment can be conveniently scheduled M-F between 6:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.
This citywide program is offered free-of-charge to Chandler water customers. A separate program for HOA’s and commercial properties also is available and includes preparation of a water budget to help determine landscape water efficiency. The results of eight water budgets tracked in 2012 resulted in estimated savings of 7,963,000 gallons. Conservation programs such as water audits recently garnered Chandler recognition from NerdWallet, a consumer advocacy website out of San Francisco (http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/2013/cities-with-innovative-green-initiatives).
Other water-saving programs include high water use notification post cards sent to residents who used more than twice as much water as the month before. This proactive approach helps catch leaks as soon as possible. In 2012 more than 1.5 million gallons were saved due to this program. The landscape conversion rebate program provided rebates for the removal of unused grass areas replaced with desert adapted plants. Residents saw a 25 percent reduction in their landscape water use due to conversions in 2012 or a total of 1.3 million gallons. Non-residential conversions had an estimated savings of 472,700 gallons in 2012.
The use of smart irrigation controllers also produces significant water savings. Besides receiving a rebate of up to $250, non-residential customers saved an average of 717,872 gallons per year. Residents also saw reductions in their water use with average annual savings of 31,681 gallons.