Helpful Tips and Information

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How to Use your Meter to Check for Leaks

  • Be sure no water is on inside your home. This includes flushing toilets (leave valve on), ice makers, washing machines, etc.
  • When no water is on, check your meter for movement/digits:
    • For mechanical meters - when water is passing through the meter, a dial or triangle (depending on the brand) will move in a clockwise direction. If water is off and the dial/triangle moves, you have a leak.
    • For digital meters - when water is passing through the meter, a plus sign or a rotating circle (depending on the brand) will be visible on the meter.If water is off and you see the sign/circle, you have a leak.
  • Once you have determined you have a leak, call a plumber, or do the repairs yourself. The Madison County Water Department is not responsible for the lines from the meter to your home.

How to Check your Toilet Tank for Leaks

To check if your toilet tank is leaking, put a few drops of food coloring in the tank, wait about 15 minutes, and look in the bowl. If the food coloring shows up there, the tank is leaking.

Every Drop Counts!!! 

A faucet leaking one drop per second wastes 2,400 gallons per year.

Unused Wells

Wells that are unused and have been improperly decommissioned (abandoned) pose a serious risk to Alabama’s groundwater quality. Improperly decommissioned wells, which are often left open to the surface, provide a direct conduit for contaminated surface water to enter groundwater. This can contaminate an individual water supply, as well as the water supplies of some or all of the well owners in an area. The threat of contamination is heightened since surface water can bypass the filtering action of the soil and move directly into groundwater through the well. Extremely high levels of biological and/or chemical contamination can be reached very quickly.

Well owners are sometimes tempted to use abandoned well to dispose of sewage and/or other wastes. This is NEVER acceptable. It is literally like pouring waste directly into water which you may be using for your drinking water, and the health risks cannot be overstated.

Should you have an unused well that you would like to have decommissioned or you have a well that you feel has been improperly decommissioned and you would like some advice, the following authorities may be of assistance: ADEM, Natural Resource Conservation Service, The Alabama Soil and Water Conservation District, certified well drillers, and local water departments. Please contact us if we can assist you.

Dry Weather Water Conservation Tips

Drought conditions will cause a larger than usual consumption of water, resulting in some customers experiencing lower pressures.  During dry weather patterns, please be mindful of your water consumption and do your part to help conserve water.  Here are a few outdoor conservation tips for you to follow:

  • Water your lawn only when necessary. It takes 660 gallons of water to supply 1,000 square feet of lawn with 1 inch of water (his is almost the same amount you use inside the house in an entire week).As a general rule, established lawns do not need to be watered more often than every 5 to 7 days.
  • Water lawns and gardens early in the morning or at night, when temperatures are lowest, and save 30% or more of water typically lost to evaporation.
  • Do not allow sprinklers to water your street, driveway, or sidewalk.
  • Raise the height of your mower so that you are cutting at the highest recommended height. A higher cut encourages grass roots to grow deeper, shades the root system and holds soil moisture better than a closely clipped lawn.
  • Avoid over fertilizing your lawn. Fertilizer applications increase the need for water.
  • Use mulch around trees and garden beds to retain moisture in the soil.
  • Do not use the hose to clean your driveway or sidewalk - use a broom.
  • Use a shut-off nozzle on your hose so that the water flows only as needed.
  • Do not leave sprinklers on hoses unattended.
  • If you wash your car, park it on the grass and use a hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle.