Maintenance & Prevention Tips
We are dedicated to providing you the highest quality of service. Help us help you by following these guidelines and tips.
Bonita Springs Utilities is dedicated to giving you the highest quality of service. Help us help you by making sure that your meter box and backflow devices are easily reachable for our technicians.
Please observe the following landscaping guidelines:
- Vegetation cannot completely surround the meter boxes and backflow prevention devices.
- Vegetation shall not hinder access to meter boxes and backflow prevention devices.
2.5 ft., or 30 inches, of clearance should be provided around the meter box and backflow prevention device. The illustration on the left shows the acceptable landscaping plans for meter box and backflow prevention devices.
According to the Bonita Springs Fire Department, 7.5 ft. of clearance should be provided on either side and 4 ft in the rear of the fire hydrant. The illustration to the right shows the acceptable landscaping plans for fire hydrants.
We realize that this equipment may not be attractive, but it is necessary for your safety. Have a question? Fill out our Contact Form or give us a call at 239-992-0711.
What is backflow?
Backflow occurs when water moves in the opposite direction from its normal flow. When there is a change in pressure and the direction of the flow is reversed, backflow can allow contaminants to enter the potable water supply.
What’s a backflow prevention device and why is it needed?
A backflow prevention device ensures the quality of your water and prevents any contaminants from entering BSU’s potable water supply. Having cross-connection control and backflow prevention programs in place is critical to safeguarding your drinking water.
What is cross-connection?
The most common form of contamination, a cross-connection is a permanent or temporary piping arrangement that can allow your drinking water to be contaminated if backflow occurs.
From the wells through the treatment and distribution processes, we work hard to protect your drinking water from contamination.
Follow landscaping guidelines around your backflow prevention device and meter box to allow BSU employees easy access to this equipment.
Depending on the extent of the leak, a warped or poorly fitting flapper can waste up to 200 gallons of water a day and may cost hundreds of dollars a year.
A flapper is a rubber mechanism in the toilet tank that is the moving part of the flush valve, sealing water into the tank and allowing water to exit the tank when you flush.
Flappers deteriorate over time because of in-tank cleaning products and chemicals used by utilities. That’s why flappers need to be checked every year to make sure it is fitting tightly over the flush tube. Otherwise, you will end up with a leak that wastes a lot of water and can seriously increase your water bill.
Is your toilet running?
Getting to the bottom of a leaky toilet can be perplexing. To find out where your leak is coming from, some detective work is probably in order.
To find out if a leak is being caused by the flapper, put a few drops to one teaspoon of food coloring or a dye tablet in your toilet tank. Wait about 15 minutes and if you end up with color in the toilet bowl, you probably have a leaky flapper that needs to be replaced.
How to replace a toilet flapper
Follow these fast and easy steps for replacing your flapper:
- Close the water supply to your toilet. This is typically located behind the bowl, below the tank. If there’s no valve or the valve is stuck, turn off the water to the house.
- Flush the water in the tank and note the length of the chain from the flush handle to the flapper. This will save time when installing the new flapper.
- If the flapper is connected by a circular ring around the tube, remove the refill tube from the overflow tube. (If not, go directly to No. 4)
- Remove the chain from the flush lever and then remove the old flapper by sliding it up and off of the overflow tube. Or unhook the flapper ears from the overflow tube. For new plastic flush valves, you may have to bend the flapper ears out and off the pins on the flush valve.
- Write down the toilet manufacturer and the model number if you know it. The manufacturer’s name is often stamped on the outside of the bowl near the seat hinges and the model number is normally on the inside at the back of the tank.
- Take the old flapper and the information you’ve noted to a plumbing supply store or home improvement store that carries replacement flappers. If you have a 1.6 gpf toilet, the store should have information on the correct replacement flapper and settings for adjustable flappers. Be prepared to pay $2 – $10 for the right flapper. And don’t forget to get a beaded metal flapper chain replacement.
- Install the new flapper by sliding it down and over the overflow tube until the ring touches the bottom of the tank, with the flapper bulb centered on the valve opening. For plastic valves, cut the ring off the flapper along the lines marked “cut” and slip the ears of the flapper over the pins on the flush valves.
What Not to Flush
To Flush or Not to Flush
Flushing anything that is not dissolvable in water can cause clogged sewage or drainage lines, sewage backups and other problems in your home. They can also cause problems at Bonita Springs Utilities, Inc.’s wastewater treatment plants.
Avoid causing blockages and toss these items in the trash, NOT the toilet:
- “Flushable” wet wipes – even when they say they’re flushable, they’re really not because they don’t disintegrate in water
- Disposable mop and toilet wand heads, including Swiffer pads
- FOG: fats, oil and grease
- Feminine hygiene products
- Dental floss
- Cotton swabs
- Cat litter
- Cigarette butts
- Medications and chemicals — flushing medicine can affect our water supply and wildlife. Visit www.sheriffleefl.org to locate the drop box nearest you to dispose of unused, unwanted, or expired medicine.
Cease the Grease
Fats, oils and grease, commonly known as FOG, are harmful to your sewer system.
Putting these liquids down the drain creates clogs and can lead to Sanitary Sewer Over lows. When that occurs, raw sewage may back up into your home and/or street.
We all want to avoid that from happening.
To help keep the pipes clear, dispose of these greasy foods and liquids in the trash, instead of down your drain or garbage disposal:
- Food scrapes
- Dairy products
- Cooking oil