Pool, sprinkler leaks can bring costly surprise
- They can boost water bills and damage property
- Sometimes it takes getting soaked with water-bill sticker shock for homeowners to find out about a leaking backyard pool or sprinkler system.
- A leak the width of a dime in an underground sprinkler line can waste 6,300 gallons of water per month — doubling typical water use on some household water bills.
- Aside from increased water bills, underground leaks from pools and sprinkler systems may not surface until a sinkhole swallows a backyard deck or water bubbles up as an unintended bedroom fountain.
- Underground leaks from the pools and sprinkler systems, commonplace in South Florida, threaten pocketbooks and water supplies alike, particularly during the winter-to-spring dry season.
“Water flows downhill or to the most inconvenient spot,” said David Allen of the South Florida Water Management District.
How much water can be lost to seemingly small leaks?
Although some seepage is normal, small cracks from concrete settling or plastic eroding can allow large amounts of water to be lost a little bit at time.
A leak near one sprinkler head can lose about 225 gallons during one 15-minute watering cycle. Run three times per week, that can waste about 3,000 gallons of water per month, according to the Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department.
Likewise, a pinhole-sized leak in a pool pumping system can lose 970 gallons of water in 24 hours and about 30,000 gallons a month if left undetected, according to http://www.h2ouse.org, a water — conservation website backed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.