Sacramento, California Leak Free Program

The City of Sacramento, California Department of Utilities Leak Free program pays for leak repair in the homes of low-income Sacramento residents. Recipients of the service must be homeowners and must live in areas designated by the State of California as being a “Disadvantaged Community” (DAC). The characteristics of a DAC include poverty, high unemployment, air and water pollution, and the presence of hazardous wastes as well as high incidence of asthma and heart disease. Through this program, residents who may not have access to affordable plumbing can sign up for one house visit from a contracted plumber.

Initiated in 2016, the Leak Free Sacramento Program aims to provide residents with leak repairs and promote leak awareness and water and energy efficiency. Eligible homeowners can sign up for one free house call from a Leak-Free Sacramento contracted plumber to repair outdoor and indoor leaks. Residents qualify for the program if they:

  • Live within a Disadvantage Area Community
  • Are single-family residential homeowners that are Utilities customers.
  • Are considered homeowners by the following qualifications:
    • Own both the home and the land on which the home rests
    • Are the permanent resident in the home for which plumbing assistance is needed and the City of Sacramento utility bill is in their name.
  • Are eligible for or are current participants of Sacramento Utility Rate Assistance program (SURA)
  • Show irregular water usage, need leak detection and repair or replacement services. 

In order to first generate interest, the city of Sacramento sent out 18,000 letters and postcards to potential recipients, and within one year had serviced 297 customers. The program currently supports up to $150,000 per year in leak repairs. The leak repairs have resulted in a cumulative annual saving of about 23 million gallons of water and an annual energy saving of about 23,000 kwh.

About half of Sacramento’s residents live in DAC areas.1 These communities are exposed to a combination of several economic, health, and environmental stresses. The Sacramento Leak Free Program works to alleviate these stresses by fortifying plumbing and lowering water and energy costs in overburdened homes.2 In addition, the online application and flyer for this program is made more accessible by being available in both English and Spanish.

In 2016 the program operated under a $2.5 million dollar grant from the California State Department of Water Resources. In 2018, the City of Sacramento modified and restarted the program with funds from city water revenues.

Publication Date: January 2016

Related Organizations:

  • City of Sacramento, California

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Resource Types:

  • Funding program

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