Leaking pipes are a big problem that can go unnoticed – and lead to expensive repairs.
Hidden leaks can cause costly damage before a homeowner even realizes there is a problem, according to American City Plumbing and Heating.
To help homeowners reduce water waste and raise awareness of leaking pipes, the Michigan Department of the Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) is highlighting successful leak repair and leak repair projects as part of its Fix-a-Leak Week initiative on water protection in disadvantaged communities that runs until Saturday.
One of these projects is a pilot program that will provide 200 homes in Highland Park and Benton Harbor with free home plumbing repairs and new water-saving fixtures. The state chose these two cities because of their water quality issues.
“Plumbing repairs can be very expensive in older homes, and the difficulty of finding a qualified plumber often means plumbing problems being fixed,” said Gracie Wooten, a Highland Park resident who actively supports the pilot program. “This program will really help the eligible seniors struggling with these costs.”
Adrienne Bennett is the first black master plumber in the United States and CEO of Detroit-based plumbing company Benkari. Bennett’s company will complete plumbing repairs in Highland Park for the Water Leak Pilot program.
The state has not given a set date when homeowners should expect repairs, said Linda Wheeler, project coordinator for the Water Leak Pilot program. However, the data collection process began Thursday for homes in Highland Park with abnormally high water usage. The group will focus on helping seniors, residents with disabilities and homes with children.
The Highland Park Human Rights Coalition and local students went through town Thursday to alert homeowners to leaking pipes. The city’s water department has software that shows which houses have abnormally high water consumption. The group used these findings to figure out which homes should be advertised for more data, Wheeler said.
The coalition and students will advertise in town all summer, she said.
The Fix-a-Leak Week campaign aims to educate consumers and water suppliers about the importance of fixing plumbing leaks in order to save money on water and energy bills. This emerges from a press release from the state.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Clean Water Plan plans to invest $ 500 million in federal dollars, state bonding authority, and existing state revenues to create a comprehensive nationwide water infrastructure program, the press release said.
“Household water leaks can significantly increase consumers’ water bills and contribute to water quality concerns,” said Ninah Sasy, EGLE’s public advocate on clean water. “Investing in water conservation efforts in the home and in our water distribution systems is the key to reducing energy consumption and costs while ensuring environmental sustainability.”
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For a detailed schedule of online and social media events for Fix-a-Leak Week, please visit Michigan.gov/FixaLeakWeek.
Contact Slone Terranella at STerra[email protected] and follow her on Twitter @SloneTerranella.
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