Fix a Leak Week

Fix a Leak Week
Posted on 03/15/2021
Information courtesy of EPA WaterSense
The Environmental Protection Agency celebrates Fix a Leak Week each March to remind you to check household fixtures and irrigation systems for leaks. Household leaks can waste more than one trillion gallons of water annually nationwide. That’s equal to the annual household water use of more than 11 million homes. A one gallon per minute leak can add more than half a million gallons per year. Common types of leaks found in the home include worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves. These types of leaks are often easily fixed, requiring only a few tools and hardware.

The Regional Water Providers Consortium has a video on detecting household leaks that you may find helpful. Additional information about fixing household leaks, both indoors and outdoors, is available here.

Tips for Identifying LeaksLeak Facts
Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes at all, you may have a leak.

Identify toilet leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If any color shows up in the bowl after 10 minutes, you have a leak. (Be sure to flush immediately after the experiment to avoid staining the tank.)

Examine faucet gaskets and pipe fittings for any water on the outside of the pipe to check for surface leaks.

Examine water usage during a colder month, such as January or February. If a family of four exceeds 12,000 gallons per month, there may be serious leaks inside your home from a fixture such as a toilet.

Simple Steps to Save Water
Saving water around the home is simple and smart. The average household spends as much as $500 per year on its water and sewer bill but could save about $170 per year by retrofitting with water-efficient fixtures and incorporating water-saving practices.

Inside the Home
Repair dripping faucets and showerheads. A drip rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year.

A full bathtub can require up to 70 gallons of water while taking a 5-minute shower uses only 10 to 25 gallons. Turning off the tap while you brush your teeth can save 8 gallons per day.

Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes or lower the water settings for smaller loads. Replace your old washing machine with a high-efficiency, ENERGY STAR® labeled model, which uses up to 50 percent less water and electricity.

Outside the Home
Water your lawn or garden during the cool morning hours, as opposed to midday, to reduce evaporation. Use sprinklers that produce droplets, not mist.

Don’t over-fertilize, it will increase the lawn’s need for water. Raise your lawnmower blade to at least 3  inches. Taller grass promotes deeper roots, shades the root system, and holds soil moisture better than a closely cropped lawn.

Try not to overwater landscaping; use mulch around trees to help reduce evaporation and control water-stealing weeds.
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