Show your pipes some love this February - Fort Collins - Loveland Water District

It’s February, which means romance season is in full swing as we gear up for Valentine’s Day. With love in the air, many people might find themselves taking stock of what they love in life: Family, friends, pets, a mid-day nap. Water infrastructure? Anyone?

Water infrastructure—more specifically, the piping—is one of those things that we all use every day, but only really concern ourselves with when things go wrong. And when things go wrong, it’s worthy of concern. But this kind of hassle can easily be avoided. Much like romantic love, little acts of kindness go a long way. With your water and wastewater pipes, those acts help ensure a smooth, hassle-free future.

From bringing treated water into your home to removing wastewater from it, pipes play an important role in your everyday life. So, why mess up a good thing? Here at the Fort Collins-Loveland Water District and the South Fort Collins Sanitation District, we’ve got your back with simple acts of kindness to keep your pipes happy.

Keep an eye out for leaks, sign up for an inspection

No one likes to lose—especially if it costs money. According to the EPA, the average household leaks 10,000 gallons of water each year, and 10 percent of those homes leak more than 90 gallons per day. That’s a lot of water and a ton of money. For our region, which has its water challenges as demand grows into the future, wasted water is especially egregious. But paying for wasted water adds a definite sting

Common household leaks often come from faulty toilet flappers, loose faucets and valve cracks in pipes and appliances. Of course, there are the more serious varieties in the actual piping. But the FCLWD can help you out with our FREE leak detection program. Our team is able to monitor for anomalies in your water usage and when we suspect there’s a leak, we’ll reach out to you so you know as soon as possible. This helps you save on your water bill and prevent wasted water.

Be sure to provide us with your updated email contact information so you can take advantage of this free service. You can add or update your email address by using your online account or contacting our team.

Don’t turn on your sprinkler system prematurely

With 300-plus days of sun in Northern Colorado, we’re bound to get a string of days in late winter/early spring that feel like the growing season is back. It’s not. Don’t get yourself in a situation where you’re wasting water prematurely. The FCLWD helps take guessing out of the equation by offering free Sprinkler Checkup to customers, which is part of the City of Fort Collins Sprinkler System Checkup program. This free checkup will identify any problems—like leaks!—but also help you create a custom sprinkler schedule, so you know exactly when to start spraying.

Get started by signing up for the 2022 waitlist.

Only flush the three Ps

Backups aren’t just a major inconvenience; they can also be a major expense for both customers and the District. But if you treat your pipes with the respect they deserve, backups should rarely be an issue—and never a major one. So, what’s the secret to keeping those pipes clear? Only flush the three P’s: Poo, pee and paper.

There are a wide variety of “disposable” and “flushable” products on the market, but they’re not as advertised. These products actually cause harm by potentially clogging your system when mixed with the variety of other items often disposed of down the drain or with a flush. Hair, dental floss, baby wipes, cooking fats and oils, Q-Tips, diapers, medication—the list is literally endless. So, the simple move is to just remember those three P’s and refrain from flushing anything else.

Properly winterize to avoid breaks

Similar to backed-up pipes, busted pipes can also cause a serious headache. In Colorado, where sub-freezing temperatures are the norm in winter and sub-zero temperatures aren’t uncommon, the threat of a busted pipe due to the failure to winterize a sprinkler system can become a costly mistake come springtime.

Winterizing your system is easy, and often done in organization with a neighborhood or homeowners association. Winterizing a sprinkler system is as simple as draining the system of any residual water. This can be accomplished one of three ways: 1) Manual drain method, which is as easy as opening a valve; 2) Automatic drain method, which involves leveraging water pressure to empty pipes; 3) Blow-out method, which forces air through the system and evacuates water.

Contact your HOA or neighborhood association to find out if you have organized winterization dates. Otherwise, make sure you winterize before the level of frost reaches the depth of your sprinkler system.

Know where your shutoff valve is located

There are a lot of things to know and discover as a homeowner. One of those things you should know—or quickly discover—is the location of your main water shutoff valve. This not only comes in handy when you’re prepping for, say, the installation of fancy new appliances, but also when you experience a water emergency such as a broken pipe, appliance or other trauma that’s spewing water into your basement, house or lawn.

Knowing where your main shutoff valve is can give you the power to halt any water emergency before it spirals out of control and wastes both large volumes of water and money water-caused damages.

Reach out to FCLWD and SFCSD to learn more

Whether you have a current problem—if it’s a major leak, quit reading this and use that shutoff valve!—or want to learn more about leak detection, sprinkler check-ups, what not to flush, or winterization techniques and timing, both the FCLWD and SFCSD are here to help.

A great place to start is our website, which is packed with lots of information to help make you a more water-wise customer. While you’re there, make sure to check out our Support page for a wide range of FAQs, forms, maps, and information about rates and fees. You can also follow us on Facebook, we are always sharing tips and tricks as well as program opportunities. Of course, you can always contact us directly as well.

Happy February! Now go show those pipes some love.

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