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Fix a Leak Guidebook

January 11, 2019
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  • 2 MB


This Guidebook was developed as part of a pilot behavior change program designed to help residents take action to reduce water use during the 2015 drought. Toilet leaks were shown to be the the largest source of  indoor water waste in the County.  The Sustainability Program developed a pilot using Community-Based Social Marketing (CBSM) to identify tactics that actually resulted in people taking action, which often does not occur based on outreach and education alone.

Check out the Guidebook and use it to find and fix leaks in  your own home or business – it’s easier than you think!

Overall our results were positive and the findings suggest that our tools and CBSM process were effective in getting residents to find and fix toilet leaks.

  1. The majority of participants used the blue dye tabs provided to them to test their toilets for leaks, which suggested that directly distributing dye tabs could be an important component to include in future programs.
  2. Our direct engagement campaign resulted in 71% of people following through on testing their toilets for leaks. Once they received a follow-up prompt this went up to 93%, suggesting that direct engagement, especially with follow-up prompts is an effective outreach strategy.
  3. We received a significant amount of positive feedback on the Fix-a-Leak Guidebook. Participants found it easy and simple to use and appreciated its instructional pictures. Further use of the Guidebook could be effective in a variety of settings.
  4. Approximately one quarter of the participants (26%) reported finding a leak. This suggests that household toilet leaks are a real and pervasive issue and should be given consideration during the development of water conservation programs.
  5. Online engagement platforms such as SurveyMonkey, NextDoor.com, and the City Manager’s newsletter were the most efficient and successful means of recruiting participants. This suggests that future engagement campaigns using these in combination with behavior change tools could be valuable in other conservation programs.
  6. The majority of participants shared the belief that finding and fixing leaks in their homes was important to do.
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