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Author      Title/Abstract      

Conserving Water Through Residential Water Audit and Leak Detection Programs
Author: William O. Maddaus, Edward J. Thornhill

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California had three residential water conservation programs developed and pilot tested in its service area in 1986-1988. This paper reports on two of those projects--water audits and leak detection. Water audits, targeted at high-use single-family homes, were designed to reduce water use through interior retrofitting and more efficient landscape irrigation. Approximately 30 homes in each of five cities were audited. Participants proved receptive to the audits, and the pilot program spurred full-scale programs in several other cities in California. A leak detection program was designed to test whether electronic leak detection equipment, commonly used to detect water main leaks, could also hear household plumbing leaks. The equipment was tested in two cities and recorded leaks in 20 to 40 percent of the homes surveyed. With effective follow-up--for example, the utility offering leak repair assistance to the customer--this equipment could show real promise for water conservation.