IWA offers tips to secure water before leaving town
As the end of season approaches and part-time residents begin to prepare to head off the islands, the Island Water Association offered the following tips to help keep their water secure while away:
– Contact IWA and take advantage of the annual free turn off and turn on of the water at the meter. For those who do not have a pool or irrigation system and will be gone until next season, it makes sense to have the water turned off at the meter. IWA does not recommend that homeowners operate the curb stop on their meter. Contact IWA so one of the technicians can turn the water off at the meter. Alternatively, they can turn the water off at the backflow prevention device if the property has one. Turning the water off at the meter or the backflow device just behind the meter turns off all the water to the property.
– For those who do not want their water turned off at the meter and do not have a backflow prevention device, they can still turn off their house valve. Turning off the house valve will turn off all spigots that are attached to the house and water to the inside of the house. It is usually recommended if the water is turned off to shut off the hot water heater valves and the corresponding circuit breaker. Some IWA members have had a locking device put on their house valve or have had the house valve moved inside their garage. Turning off the house valve does not usually turn off the irrigation system.
– As a precaution, remove any outside hoses that will not be used while away.
– Have the home watch read the water meter to check for high usage and to see if water is going through the meter. IWA is only at each property once a month to get a meter reading. A lot of water usage can occur in the span of a month. Scheduling a home watch visit for the day after the pool person can prevent a hose left running, whether due to a failed timer or just forgotten.
– Check the usage and the amount of the water bill every month. If the usage seems excessive, check with the home watch, irrigation person or give IWA a call. Membership Coordinator Kathy is diligent about contacting members with high usage that appear on the leak log – members who show continual usage 24 hours a day – but it is impossible to monitor every members’ water usage.
– Put a fresh battery in the irrigation controller. During the summer months, power outages and power surges are common. The irrigation system controller has a battery back-up for these instances, but if the battery is dead, some irrigation controllers will default to a setting to water every day. Check the rain sensor to make sure it is operating property and set appropriately for your landscaping.