Friday, March 19, 2010

Fix A Leak Week - Plano Offers Free Resources for Residents

Did you know that minor water leaks account for 1 trillion gallons of water wasted each year?  That's why the city of Plano is sponsoring "Fix A Leak Week", offering free tips and water conservation items for Plano residents to help them save water.  As a resident, you are eligible for the following items:

Low-Flow Shower Head

A self-cleaning shower head featuring a non-aerating spray means less temperature loss and big hot water energy savings. Easy to install!

How do you know if you need a new shower head?  I found a handy dandy video with an easy tip on how to determine if your shower head needs an overhaul.

This is great for me, a Plano resident, right?
Yes and no.  Yes, because just the other day, as I was having a long, hot shower, I wondered if our apartment  had low-flow shower heads installed.  I was going to look into the issue with my fianc√©, Mark, so we could conserve water.  However, have you heard that we're not buying any new plastic this year?  When I ran into the kitchen to tell Mark we could get a low-flow shower head, he promptly asked, "Is it made of plastic?"  I reminded him of how much water we could save.  He said, "But plastic lasts forever.  Is it made from recycled plastic or metal?  If not, is it really worth creating a new piece of plastic that will last forever?"  No, definitely not.  So, I called the Municipal Center of Plano to find out if the shower head is made of plastic.  It is.  Ugg.  No new shower head for me, at least not a free one.  What are my other options?  Well, thankfully, I did the test from the video and found out I don't need one, but there are many ways we can reduce our water usage without getting yet another plastic product.

  • Get wet, turn off the water, get soapy, turn on the water to rinse.  This technique is used on naval ships and by Ed Begley (smile) and drastically cuts down on water usage.
  • Cut down on how long you shower.  I don't know about you, but I'm not a 5-minute shower person.  I could easily cut several minutes off my shower time to save water.
  • Share a shower.  Have a special someone in your life?  Sharing a shower isn't just romantic, it's the green thing to do (wink, wink).
Toilet Leak Detection Tablets
Use dye tablets to check for a leak in your toilet tank. It’s easy and could save you money.  Here are a few other ways to help you conserve water:
  • When it's time to replace your toilet, purchase a dual-flush or high-efficiency model.
  • Don't use the toilet as a trashcan or ashtray.
  • If you're really feeling green, get a human composting toilet or make your own!  Lots of resources are available online (by the way, if you do this, please let me know how it goes).
Toilet Flapper
Water treatment processes, toilet bowl cleaners and high water pressure cause replaceable parts to disintegrate in your toilet. If you get black “goo” on your hands when you touch the flapper, it needs to be replaced.

Simply visit any Customer and Utility Services counter from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, to pick up these items. Locations include the Municipal Center, 1520 K Ave. (between 15th Street and 18th Street) or the Joint Use Facility, 7501 N. Independence Pkwy. (adjacent to Davis Library).  Retrofit items are provided FREE to Plano residents by the Sustainability & Environmental Services department. 

For more water conservation tips, visit  
And of course, come to the Live Green Expo on April 17, 2010!

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