Water Speak 101
AMWUA: (pronounced "am-wa" as in, "I am" and "water") Arizona Municipal Water Users Association, a non-profit association of ten municipalities in the Phoenix metro area, advocating responsible water stewardship that supports economic prosperity and safeguards Arizona's water supplies for future generations
Aerator: A device screwed onto the end of a faucet spout that mixes air into flowing water to reduce water flow
Autofill (Automatic Pool Water Leveler): This device automatically allows water to flow into a pool to maintain a desired pool water level
Backflow Prevention Device: A device that prevents contaminants from entering the drinking water supply
Berm: A raised barrier such as mounded dirt used to contain irrigation water
Continuous Leak: An ongoing leak that occurs whether or not a water-using device is in operation
Emitter: A device on the end of drip irrigation tubing that regulates flow
Flood Irrigation: A flow of water that fills a basin surrounded by berms for landscape irrigation
Home vs. House: "Home" refers to the premises (both the property and the house); "house" refers to the structure itself
Hose Bibb: Exterior hose connection or spigot
Hot Spot: A hot or warm surface area caused by a leaking subsurface hot water supply line
House (Main) Water Shut-off Valve: This valve stops the flow of water from the service line to the house
Intermittent Leak: A non-continuous leak that starts and stops, this type of leak often coincides with the operation of a water-using device
Irrigation Controller/Timer: Controls the frequency and duration of irrigation watering cycles by automatically activating the control valves
Irrigation Station (Valve, Zone): Stations (programmed in the irrigation controller) switch on the valves that release the water to the irrigation zones in your yard or garden. The terms: station, valve and zone are often used interchangeably even though they have different meanings.
Irrigation System: Often consists of a backflow prevention device, underground pipes, valves and emitters, bubblers and/or sprinkler heads and an irrigation controller
Low-flow Indicator/Leak Detector: Typically looks like a small triangle, star or gear on the face of the water meter and rotates when water flows through the water meter
Overflow Tube: A tube in the toilet tank that allows water to flow into the toilet bowl
Riser: A vertical extension pipe
Service Line: An underground pipe that carries water from the water meter to your home
Shut-off Valves: There are two main types of shut-off valves found in the home: (See Isolation Method.)
A gate valve opens by turning the handle left (counter clockwise) to start water flow and closes by turning it right (clockwise) to stop water flow.
A ball valve opens by turning the handle parallel to the water line to start water flow and closes by turning it perpendicular to the water line to stop water flow.
Toilet Flapper: A device in a toilet tank that controls the release of water from the toilet tank to the toilet bowl
Water-using Device: A device such as an appliance (dishwasher, clothes washer, etc.), evaporative cooler, water feature, koi pond or automatic pet watering trough that utilizes waternext
This guide focuses on finding common leaks in and around your home. You may experience one or more leaks at different times. Use this guide as a reminder to check your home regularly - this will help you stay on top of leaks and save water and money. Ongoing responsible water management is critical to our communities.
AMWUA member water conservation experts have searched the Internet for additional resources on leak detection and helpful how-to videos for do-it-yourself repairs. We recommend the following:
How to Read Your Water Meter
Outdoor Visual Leak Inspection
Indoor Visual Leak Inspection
Isolation Method for Continuous Leaks
DIY Water Leak Repair Videos
For Landscaping Guides, Rebates, Classes, and More Information on how you can save water and money, visit the conservation section of www.amwua.org.
Since 1969, AMWUA has worked to protect our members' ability to provide assured, safe, and sustainable water supplies to their communities.
Visit www.amwua.org for more resources and information about conservation, water resources, and how our members are planning and managing our supplies for today and generations to come.
Together, we are One for Water.™