According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, “Household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide, so each year we hunt down drips during Fix a Leak Week.” The EPA asks people to mark their calendars for its tenth annual Fix a Leak Week, which goes from March 19 through March 25, 2018. Even though Fix a Leak Week is months away, homeowners can find and fix leaks in their homes all year long to save precious water and money on their water bills.
“The average household’s leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year and ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day,” says the EPA. What are some of the common causes of these leaks?
- Worn toilet flappers
- Dripping faucets
- Other leaking valves
The good news is that the above leaks are usually an easy fix. If you have a household leak, fixing it could save you as much as 10 percent on your monthly water bills.
EPA’s Tips on Locating Leaks
Here are the EPA’s tips for locating leaks:
- During January or February (when it’s colder), check to see if your household is using a lot of water. If you have a family of four and you’re using more than 12,000 gallons of water each month, you probably have a serious leak.
- Check the water meter before and after two-hours pass and no water has been used. If the meter changes even though you haven’t used any water, there’s probably a leak.
- Do you have a toilet leak? To find out, put a drop of food coloring in the tank. If color shows up in the bowl after 10 minutes go by, you have a toilet leak. To avoid staining the tank, flush the water right after the experiment.
- Take a look at the pipe fittings and faucet gaskets and check for water on the outside. If you see water, it indicates a surface leak.
You can also watch this video on detecting household leaks from Regional Water Providers Consortium in Oregon. This video from Thornton Water in Colorado offers tips on finding hidden water waste both indoors and outdoors.