Since becoming Mayor of the Fifth Largest City of the Country in 2019, Mayor Kate Gallego and other members of the Phoenix City Council have been constant leaders in addressing water security and conservation efforts.
Among some of the measures the Mayor and the City Council have pushed are:
- “Passing water conservation plans in partnership with other local and regional governments.
- Forgoing water allowances from Lake Mead.
- Partnering with public and private entities in creating (with Kando) treatment and purification/recycling facilities that could provide safe drinking water for up to 200,000 people.
- The construction of drought relief pipelines.”
- The passage of Sustainable Desert Development Guidelines.
Today, the Mayor, along with representatives from City of Phoenix Water Services and Housing Departments, Pacific Institute, Procter and Gamble (P&G), and Sensor Industries, helped launch a new effort to further conserve Phoenix’s precious water supply.
Called the Leak Pilot Detection Program, sensor devices (with a battery life of five years,) called the Sci-Flush sensor are designed to detect water leaks, are installed on piping leading to the toilet.
Please review the chart below to see how the process works.
Citing statistics that water leaks around toilets waste 200 gallons of water a day and, according to Pacific Institute Senior Researcher Cora Snyder, “one trillion gallons a year,” project proponents, including Mayor Gallego, hoping to enhance local water conservation efforts, launched this pilot program, at Sunnyslope Manor, “an affordable housing community for seniors and disabled residents operated by the City of Phoenix.”
The hope is that these sensors will detect toilet water leaks in a timely manner that will result in faster maintenance and repairs that reduce waste.
The Mayor, who is also a Co-Chair for 50 Liter Home, an organization whose mission promotes efficient water usage in homes, spoke at the launching, saying:
“We are very serious about water conservation this community. We are a desert city and as your Mayor, I think a lot about water and how we can use it most efficiently…In Phoenix, we work constantly on how we can address and protect our water supply and have water smart policies…Today, I’m excited to hit the ground running with our water leak detection pilot program..,to ensure that we aren’t losing any water to wasteful toilet leaks. We believe that in apartments, these toilet leaks are the number one source of wasted water and impact is really significant. A single toilet, according to the U.S. Geological Survey can waste an extra 22 gallons of water every day adding up to over eight thousand gallons water lost in a year..That’s also wasted money in addition to the thousands of gallons…We want to put that money, not into paying water bills, but into improving housing for our older adults.”
After praising her team in the city government and private partners who have contributed to this effort, Mayor Gallego further stated:
“This is a pilot but we hope it will become successful…we can apply in more locations. It’s just one tool in our toolbox.”
The Mayor also noted more water conservation announcements would be forthcoming in the next few weeks.
In a press release after today’s events, the Mayor offered:
“As we continue facing a historic drought in the West, it is increasingly important that we conserve our water however we can. The leak detection pilot program we launched today is yet another innovative way in which Phoenix is stepping up to this shared challenge, this time teaming up with private companies who want to make a difference. I’m grateful to the city’s water and housing departments, as well as to Pacific Institute and P&G, for their assistance in making this program a reality.”
On September 8, 2023, the Mayor’s team posted on social media: