By Ron Jones

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — About 20,000 low-income families could get free plumbing work to help stop leaks and conserve water.

The Sacramento City Council is considering approving a program that would help the financially strapped families identify and repair leaking pipes. It will save money and water in the long run, but for some, paying a plumber isn’t in the budget.

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“The average plumber is $150 an hour to $250 per hour for labor. That’s not the cost of material,” said Tim Young with Taylor Plumbing.

A grant from the California Department of Water Resources could help the city create a pool of on-call plumbers who could do the work at no cost to low-income qualifying customers.

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Conrad Taylor and Young believe those who can’t afford a plumber can’t afford not to have one, especially with a leak hidden behind a wall.

“That trapped moisture turns into rotting the wood, rotting your drywall,” Young said.

That leak can turn into toxic mold, creating a health risk for families.

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Because it’s a state grant, the city council says there’s no cost to the city.