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The Leak Detector Challenge: Spring 2018

Posted on April 10, 2018

The Leak Detector Challenge is an opportunity to become more aware of our personal water use and ways to action to conserve water, including reducing the amount of water lost to repairable leaks, such as running toilets and dripping taps.

This March, 18 Winnipeg families and 9 schools (190 students!) took on the Challenge and detected water-wasting leaks using our easy step-by-step process.

This project resulted in a combined water savings of nearly 350 litres a day for schools, and 330 litres a day for family homes.

These numbers may seem small, but every action adds up — and paying closer attention to our personal water use can make an even bigger difference in reducing water waste.

Schools that took part involved a range of students from young as Kindergarten up to adult learners. In addition to taking the challenge, each group came away with further actions they will be taking to educate others in their school about the importance of water and water conservation.

Take Seven Oaks Adult Learning Centre as an example. In their research, they found their current toilets use 6 litres per flush. Making an estimate of 15 flushes per hour, for 12 hours per day, they estimated that the Centre's toilets alone use around 1080 litres of water each day. These adult learners are proposing to administration that the Centre replace the toilets with high efficiency models which would save 20% of their water usage — approximately 40,000 litres of water per year!

All family participants received a free shower timer, and two lucky participants are taking home a FortWhyte Alive rain barrel or a FortWhyte Alive Family Membership (winners were drawn at random on April 5). Student participants received water conservation prize kits which include reusable water bottles, FortWhyte Alive admission passes, and more.

Start conserving now! There's more you can do:

  • Use a shower timer, and cut your shower length to five minutes. Shower timers are available at the Nature Shop.
  • Drink tap water! Keep a jug in the fridge.
  • Plug that drain when washing vegetables, doing dishes or hand washing laundry.
  • Buy a rain barrel for your garden and ditch the hose. FortWhyte Alive rain barrels are available in the Nature Shop.

FortWhyte Alive delivers the Slow the Flow Youth Education program with support from the City of Winnipeg Water and Waste Department.