Fix a Leak Week Combats Water Waste

Every year the EPA sponsors “Fix a Leak Week” as a national effort to combat water waste.

That’s because, every year, household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water nationwide! How much water is that? It’s…

  • Enough to fill 40 million swimming pools and 24 billion bathtubs
  • Almost equal to the capacity of Florida’s vast Lake Okeechobee
  • Equal to the annual household water usage of more than 11 million homes

Plug Those Leaks!

This year’s Fix a Leak Week runs from March 19 through March 25. It’s the perfect time to check for leaky kitchen and bathroom faucets, malfunctioning toilets and errant irrigation  systems. Fixing some of these easily corrected household leaks can save homeowners about 10 percent on their water bills, according to the EPA.

Karen Wirth is in charge of marketing and outreach for the EPA’s WaterSense program. In her view, most folks are clueless about the total amount of water wasted because they “see a couple of drips coming out of their shower head, or sprinkler outside, or faucet, it doesn’t seem like that much.”

Did You Know
 Homeowners can save about 10 percent on their water bills just by plugging leaks?

So each year, the EPA hones in on the drips during Fix a Leak Week. Special events are planned from coast to coast to teach homeowners how to find and fix household leaks. 

Easy Fixes

There’s a simple way to check for leaks in the toilet, Wirth said. “Just put a few drops of food coloring in the tank. If that shows up in the bowl, you have a leak.” This problem can often be fixed by simply replacing the flapper.

Replacing old and worn faucet washers and gaskets fixes most faucet leaks. For leaky shower heads, use pipe tape to secure the connection between the showerhead and the pipe stem.

For the EPA’s complete list of leak fixes, click here.

Call an Irrigation Professional

A residential irrigation system should be checked each spring before use to make sure it wasn’t damaged by frost or freezing. Even a leak as small as 1/32nd of an inch in diameter (about the thickness of a dime) can waste about 6,300 gallons of water per month!

Hire an irrigation professional certified by a WaterSense labeled program to inspect it for you. These professionals have passed a certification program focused on water efficiency. They’ll not only help detect and correct leaks in the system, but also maximize its efficiency.

The Washington Post
Alliance for Water Efficiency