Often we are focused simply on how you can save money and conserve water by reducing the amount of water you give your thirsty lawn. You’ve already heard from our Public Works Department about how to implement the water wise tips (rain sensors and Florida Friendly landscaping), but there are other ways to reduce your water bill and prevent an unexpectedly large water bill. There are some proactive steps you can take to be sure you are conserving as much as possible at home. Finding and fixing leaks at home is a good place to start. A leaky toilet or faucet can waste thousands of gallons of water each month, putting a hefty dent in your wallet. Your water fixtures may use more water than you think. Installing low-flow toilets and showerheads can dramatically reduce your indoor water consumption without reduced performance.
Learning to read your water meter can pay off. It’s easy to do, and a way to determine if you have a leak in your home. First, turn off all the water in your house. Remember to wait for the hot water heater and ice-cube makers to refill, and for regeneration of water softeners. Next, go to your water meter and jot down all the numbers you see. To check for slow leaks, read your water meter before and after a one-hour period when no water is being used. If the readings are different after the one-hour period, you have a leak. Some areas to check include toilets, faucets, malfunctioning water softeners, swimming pools, water heaters and faulty irrigation valves. Other leaks can be harder to find such as underground leaks, foundation leaks and leaks behind walls. These may require the assistance of a plumber to locate.
Toilet leaks are often silent, allowing loss of water to go undetected for long periods of time. Some toilets may produce a running water sound that is easy to hear. Some leaks are visible as a small trickle running from the rim to the water in the bowl. The average leaky toilet can waste about 200 gallons of water per day. To detect silent leaks, remove the lid from the toilet tank, remove any colored cleaning agents, flush to clear water in the bowl, then add dye tablets, leak detector fluid or a few drops of food coloring to the tank. If the tank is leaking, color will appear in the bowl within 30 minutes. Flush as soon as the test is complete.
To learn about other ways to conserve water in your home visit www.floridaswater.com, a site sponsored by the Saint Johns River Management District.
—Roxanne Long, Utility Billing Supervisor, city of Maitland
Council Meeting of Feb. 13
The Maitland City Council met on Feb. 13, at 6:30 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers. Below is a synopsis of that meeting. The next regular scheduled Council meeting will be held on Monday, Feb. 27.
Advanced to Second Reading an ordinance to establish a Downtown Maitland Zoning District and table of permitted, accessory, conditional and prohibited uses within the DMZD.
Advanced to Second Reading an ordinance to rezone properties within the Downtown Maitland Zoning District.
Adopted an ordinance to amend Chapter 7.5 Land Development Procedures, to create a process within the Maitland City Code for Amendments to Development Agreements.
Approved the Council Minutes of Jan. 23 and received various Advisory Board minutes.
Accepted the results of the 2012 Municipal Election. Election results are posted on the city’s web page.
Awarded the city towing/wrecker services contract to Tri-County Towing, the lowest bidder to respond to an RFB advertised on Nov. 23.
Awarded a contract to R.W. Paul Construction Inc. in the amount of $135,393.66 for the installation of sidewalks and retaining walls on Arapaho Trail from Algonquin Trail to Thunderbird Trail.
Awarded a contract to Barracuda Building Corporation in the amount of $89,251 for the installation of traffic calming devices on Thistle Lane from Old Colony to Mohawk Trail.
Approved the upgrade of Lift Station #2 (Dommerich Drive) to a submersible station in lieu of Lift Station #3 in the FY 2012 Sanitary Sewer System Capital Improvements Program.
Passed Resolutions to allow the City to 1) Enter into a Joint Use Agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation to facilitate the design, construction and maintenance of the Maitland Commuter Rail Station entryway, parking lot, and other station enhancements; and, 2) Enter into a Locally Funded Agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation to provide funding toward the Maitland Commuter Rail Station entryway, parking lot, canopies and other station enhancements.
Authorized the execution of a Joint Participation Agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation for the Art in Transit Program, allowing for the city to participate in the program to enable each station to reflect local art preferences.
To listen to a recording of the meeting, visit www.itsmymaitland.com