Every Drop Counts
More than 1 trillion gallons of water are wasted in U.S. homes each year from easy-to-fix leaks. That’s why OCWA encourages you to participate in Fix a Leak Week, every year, generally in the 3rd week of March.
Sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) WaterSense® program, Fix a Leak Week is an opportunity to improve the water efficiency of your home by finding and fixing leaks. In the average home, household leaks waste more than 10,000 gallons of water each year and ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day. Common types of leaks found in the home are worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves. These types of leaks are often easy to fix, requiring only a few tools and hardware that can pay for themselves in water savings. Fixing easily corrected household water leaks can save homeowners about 10 percent on their water bills.
HERE’S HOW TO IDENTIFY LEAKS AROUND YOUR HOME:
- Read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes at all, you probably have a leak.
- Winter months are the prime time to check water use and see if you may have a leak. If a family of four exceeds 12,000 gallons per month in the winter, you probably have leaks!
- 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.)
HERE’S HOW YOU CAN ADDRESS LEAKS FOUND AT HOME:
- Check for leaks. Look for dripping faucets, showerheads, sprinklers, and other fixture. Also check for toilets with silent leaks by putting a few drops of food coloring into the tank and seeing if it appears in the bowl before you flush. Don’t forget to check irrigation systems and spigots too.
- Twist and tighten pipe connections. To save more water without a noticeable difference in flow in your bathroom faucet, twist on a WaterSense labeled faucet aerator.
- Replace the fixture if necessary. Look for WaterSense labeled models, which are independently certified to use 20 percent less water and perform as well as or better than standard models.
As a WaterSense partner concerned with preserving our nation’s water supply, OCWA can help you learn more.
Check the Fix a Leak web site for ways to get involved and mark your calendar for the coming year’s Fix a Leak Week. Grab a wrench or contact your favorite handy person, plumber, or WaterSense irrigation partner to address leaking toilets, faucets, showerheads, and irrigation systems around your home.