Leaky toilets, busted irrigation lines, outdoor spigots left open and pin holes in water lines . . . . . They are just some of the sources of high water consumption that often go undetected by our customers.

But not by OUC’s team of conservation specialists.

OUC water conservation techs locate the source of a water leak on a customer’s property.

Take, for example, the Azalea Park customer who wasn’t aware of a spike in water consumption. OUC noticed it, mailed an “Unusual Increase in Water Use” notice to the home and followed up by dispatching a conservation specialist to the home.

Source of the problem? A leaking hot water tank. Had the leak not been found and stopped the customer would have been looking at a utility bill substantially higher than the previous month’s.

Estimated savings in water usage: $244.

Here’s how OUC’s conservation team looks out for our residential and commercial customers: Scanning daily water consumption reports, the team flags customers with four straight days of water use exceeding 180 percent or higher of their average use over the previous four months. A notice is mailed to the home or business address, often followed by a visit from a conservation specialist.

Sometimes the cause of the water consumption spike is easy to find and remedy, such as a garden hose left running. But other times the source of elevated water use is not so obvious and takes some detective work to locate, such as pinhole leaks in irrigation and indoor pipes, and faulty parts in toilet tanks.

But whatever the cause, OUC’s conservation specialists want to find it and help the customer solve the problem.

“Our specialists have been known to arrive before customers receive the high-water usage notice from us,” said David Mayer, Supervisor of Sustainability. “Their job is to help customers save water and money, find the causes of unusual water consumption and recommend repairs.”

Accordingly, OUC offers a free Irrigation System Evaluation service that provides prequalified contractors who will reset the irrigation system’s timer, look for broken or misaligned equipment, and check water pressure. OUC also will pay up to 50 percent of eligible repairs performed by our contractors, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars.

Click here for leak-detection help and facts.