What to expect from a WaterSmart Home Survey
To get started: Order a free Home Survey Kit from our online store and use it to assess the efficiency of your fixtures and check for leaks on your property. If you water outdoors, it may also be helpful to compare your current irrigation schedule to the month-by-month recommendations in our watering guide, revising your schedule as needed. If, after completing these steps, you would still like to request an audit, please fill out the worksheet enclosed in the Home Survey Kit, include a note in the Comments section requesting an indoor audit, an outdoor audit, or an indoor/outdoor audit, and return the worksheet by mail.
The in-person water use audit takes approximately one hour and covers the following steps:
Step 1: Read meter, evaluate water use and check for leaks
- Read meter: Staff will help you locate and read your water meter. All water use should be turned off for this step. (How to read your meter).
- Calculate water use: staff will help you calculate your water use since the last meter read on your water bill, and review your water use history.
- Check for continual use: the meter readings will help check for continual water use that may indicate leaks are occurring in your pipes, plumbing fixtures, appliances or irrigation system. If the meter registers use, you will need to shut off the main water line to your house to isolate whether the leak is in the pipe serving your home. If the leak stops when the house line is closed, this is an indicator that the leakage may be indoors or in the outdoor irrigation system.
Step 2: Indoor
- Check for toilet leaks: EBMUD staff will show you how dye tabs or food coloring can be used to test each toilet for slow or intermittent leaks that may not be readily identified from a meter read.
- Measure flow rates: Using a plastic flow rate bag, staff will show you how to check the flow rates of bathroom faucets, kitchen faucets and showerheads.
- Check other fixtures: The audit includes observing whether any standing water, moisture or signs of water damage are present around fixtures or appliances.
Step 3: Outdoor
- Check your yard: The outdoor survey includes looking for wet ground, mossy ground, overly wet spots or unusual green spots around the property.
- Check your irrigation system: EBMUD staff will ask you to turn on a few stations on the irrigation system to check for uneven pressure, blocked/leaning/clogged spray heads, broken emitters, and/or overspray and runoff. This requires running the sprinklers or the drip lines one station at a time (time allowing).
- Measure irrigation flow rate: The survey includes reading the water meter for each station test (time allowing) to determine the use and flow rate.
- Review your watering schedule: Staff will work with you on reviewing your irrigation schedule and controller (if present) for watering days and times to suggest ways to reduce overall use.
- This is a courtesy service to assist EBMUD customers in review of their water use practices and does not include physical repair services that are the responsibility of the homeowner.
- EBMUD customers are responsible for operating their own plumbing and irrigation systems and scheduling repairs with a plumber.
- EBMUD representatives do not carry advanced leak detection equipment, repair customer leaks, or recommend specific plumbing services.
- You must be on-site and with the EBMUD staff person for the duration of the site visit.