Somerton, Arizona will provide free plumbing repairs and perform other water conservation modifications in the homes of low-income seniors under a program aimed at reducing their water bills.The city next month will begin accepting applications for participation for the program, in which the city also will do basic plumbing inspections, replace toilets and other fixtures with more efficient models, and put in desert plants that need less water.The program is the first of its kind offered in the city, and the service will be free to those who qualify.
“Typically, it can be harder for older people to note if there are leaks,” said Samuel Palacios, the city’s public works director, “or their homes are real old and the (plumbing) fixtures aren’t efficient. Also, they typically are the people whose incomes won’t let them make those repairs. This program is intended for them.”The program, he added, will be funded entirely by the city, and will include such services as inspections of all plumbing fixtures in the bathroom and kitchen, inspection of yard watering systems to determine if they need repairs or should be replaced. The program also pays for materials.
To qualify, people must be 62 or older, meet low-income guidelines and live in their own homes inside the city limits.”In this city, there are a lot of homes of older people with low incomes, and there are a lot of old homes, particularly on the streets to the north and south of Main Street,” Palacios said. “We hope the water conservation program will help reduce their monthly water bills.”The city will publicize the program and review applications to select a list of participants in March and April, Palacios said.
The plumbing inspections and repairs are scheduled to begin in May.