Guess what! National Fix A Leak Week is March 14-20th and we want to be sure you have the best resources to keep you informed of the little problems caused by water leaks. Awareness of what to look for and knowledge of how to fix any leak issues can go a long way in prevention and saving money. Leaks can run, but they can’t hide!
Did you know that simple faucet leaks amount to approximately 1 trillion gallons of water wasted each year? That’s huge! And so easily preventable! Not to mention, leaks are costly. Taking time each year to perform a preventative check, can help keep your check book in order.
When you are on the hunt for possible leaks, it is important to start with the data… Begin with your water bill, check your meter, and test your toilets. These will give you some clue as to the prevalence of a water leak in your home.
The EPA recommends the following checklist for tracking down a leak! Here are some of the best-known hiding places to start. Keep your ears open!
Under the sink
Don’t forget the tub!
Check all of your hook-ups!
Look for pooling in the washer itself (it could indicate a source leak)
Check all appliances, such as the dishwasher and fridge. Many times, there are leaks behind them.
Basement and Garage
Irrigation controls and sprinkler heads
Well, that all depends on your plumbing skills. Whether you choose to call in a professional or venture down the DIY path, below are a few steps everyone should take… just in case.
Turn off the water line to the leaking location.
Identify the primary source of the leak.
Document any and all damage (date, time, photos, description, etc.).
If necessary, call your insurance company.
Call in the professionals or DIY to fix any damage caused by the leak.
Look for any secondary impacts caused by the leak, such as mold or mildew.
It’s important that everyone learn the ins and outs of their plumbing system to avoid costly repairs or surprise damages. Not only does it help protect your home and family, but you also help reduce any wasteful impacts to our water sources.
Enjoy Fix a Leak Week! Best of luck to all you DIY’ers!
Be ready for hurricane season. Today you can determine your personal hurricane risk, find out if you live in a hurricane evacuation zone, and review/update insurance policies. You can also make a list of items to replenish hurricane emergency supplies and start thinking about how you will prepare your home for the coming hurricane season. If you live in hurricane-prone areas, you are encouraged to complete these simple preparations before hurricane season begins on June 1. Keep in mind, you may need to adjust any preparedness actions based on the latest health and safety guidelines from the CDC and your local officials.
Find out today what types of wind and water hazards could happen where you live, and then start preparing how to handle them. Hurricanes are not just a coastal problem. Their impacts can be felt hundreds of miles inland, and significant impacts can occur without it being a major hurricane.
The first thing you need to do is find out if you live in a hurricane evacuation zone. If you do, now is the time to begin planning where you would go and how you would get there. You do not need to travel hundreds of miles, but have multiple options. Your destination could be a friend or relative who doesn’t live in an evacuation zone. If you live in a well-built home outside the evacuation zone, your safest place may be to remain home. Be sure to account for your pets in your plan. As hurricane season approaches, listen to local officials on questions related to how you may need to adjust any evacuation plans based on the latest health and safety guidelines from the CDC and your local officials.
You’re going to need supplies not just to get through the storm but for the potentially lengthy and unpleasant aftermath. Have enough non-perishable food, water and medicine to last each person in your family a minimum of three days. Electricity and water could be out for at least that long. You’ll need extra cash, a battery-powered radio and flashlights. You may need a portable crank or solar-powered USB charger for your cell phones.
If you need to go to a public shelter, the CDC recommends bringing items that can help protect you and others from COVID-19, such as hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, bar or liquid soap, disinfectant wipes (if available) and two masks for each person. (Children under two years old and people having trouble breathing should not wear face coverings.)
Call your insurance company or agent and ask for an insurance check-up to make sure you have enough homeowners insurance to repair or even replace your home. Don’t forget coverage for your car or boat. Remember, standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding. Whether you’re a homeowner or renter, you’ll need a separate policy for it, and it’s available through your company, agent or the National Flood Insurance Program at floodsmart.gov. Act now as flood insurance requires a 30-day waiting period.
If you plan to ride out the storm in your home, make sure it is in good repair and up to local hurricane building code specifications. Many retrofits are not as costly or time consuming as you may think. Have the proper plywood, steel or aluminum panels to board up the windows and doors. Remember, the garage door is the most vulnerable part of the home, so it must be able to withstand the winds.
Many Americans rely on their neighbors after a disaster, but there are also many ways you can help your neighbors before a hurricane approaches. Learn about all the different actions you and your neighbors can take to prepare and recover from the hazards associated with hurricanes. Start the conversation now with these Neighbor Helping Neighbor strategies but remember you may need to adjust your preparedness plans based on the latest health and safety guidelines from the CDC and your local officials.
The time to prepare for a hurricane is before the season begins, when you have the time and are not under pressure. If you wait until a hurricane is on your doorstep, the odds are that you will be under duress and will make the wrong decisions. Take the time now to write down your hurricane plan. Know who issues evacuation orders for your area, determine locations on where you will ride out the storm, and start to get your supplies now. Being prepared before a hurricane threatens makes you resilient to the hurricane impacts of wind and water. It will mean the difference between being a hurricane victim or a hurricane survivor.
Your water bill will increase with the April billing cycle.
The North Harris County Regional Water Authority (NHCRWA) will increase effective April 1, 2021. This fee is charged to all water well owners in their jurisdiction, including Harris County Municipal Utility District No. 168 (District). This fee, or a portion of the fee, is passed on to the final consumer via a line item on the District’s water bill. Currently, the fee charged by NHCRWA to the District is $4.25 per 1000 gallons of water pumped. The new fee will be $4.70 per 1000 gallons. This may increase your bill significantly, depending on how much water you use. As your fees are partially subsidized through your property taxes, the NHCRWA fee assessed by the District will be increasing from $3.35 to $3.70 (not $4.70) per 1000 gallons of water effective April 1, 2021.
The District’s charges for water use are not increasing. Only the line item on your bill relating to the NHCRWA fee is increasing.
If you have any questions regarding this, please contact the Board of Directors. Remember that the Directors are residents of the District also and have to pay the same fees.
HCMUD 168 residents, it is time to prepare for colder temperatures! There is a Freeze Watch in effect for Sunday night through Tuesday morning, February 14th – February 16, 2021. Temperatures are expected to drop to freezing levels overnight.
How can District residents prepare? Practice the “Four P’s” as the cold fronts set in:
Dress in warm clothing, wear coats and gloves when outdoors.
Protect children and the elderly. Never leave them in a cold place or vehicle.
Temperatures are predicted to be in the teens Monday night and Tuesday morning.
Bring your pets indoors.
Provide a warm, safe place for them to eat and sleep.
Prevent frozen pipes and damage to your home by opening the cabinets under the kitchen and bathroom sinks to allow warm air to circulate and warm the pipes.
Insulate outdoor faucets and exposed pipes and be sure to disconnect and drain hoses from outdoor spigots.
Protect plants from freezing by covering them with plant-cover fabric, or a light blanket with plastic sheeting on top of it.
Hydrate plants early so they can absorb and stay healthy through the cold.
Additionally, there are a few vehicle-safety tips to observe during winter weather:
Keep your gas tank full.
Have tire pressure checked.
Have a phone charger, first aid kit, blankets, and jumper cables in your car.