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Agency offers tips on how to find and fix leaks
Across the country, household leaks waste more than 1 trillion gal of water per year – enough to supply the water needs of Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles combined. Easily corrected household leaks can increase homeowners’ water bills by 12%. To help consumers find and repair easy-to-fix leaks, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is promoting the third annual Fix a Leak Week, March 14 to 20.
“When households have a leak, it’s not just a waste of water, it’s a waste of money,” EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said. “But by fixing leaky pipes, buying WaterSense products and taking other simple steps, families can save on their water bills and conserve clean water for future generations to enjoy.”
Homeowners’ water bills provide an easy and quick leak-checking measure; if wintertime water use for a family of four exceeds 12,000 gal per month, their home may have a leak. Fixture replacement parts often pay for themselves quickly and can be installed by do-it-yourselfers, professional plumbers or EPA’s WaterSense irrigation partners.
EPA’s Fix a Leak Week tips include:
• Check for leaks. Silent toilet leaks can be found by putting a few drops of food coloring into the tank and seeing if color appears in the bowl before you flush. Check irrigation systems and spigots too;
• Twist and tighten pipe connections. To save even more water without a noticeable difference in flow, twist on a WaterSense labeled faucet aerator or showerhead; and
• Replace the fixture if necessary. Look for the WaterSense label when replacing plumbing fixtures, which are independently certified to use 20% less water and perform as well as or better than standard models.
WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by EPA, seeks to protect the future of our nation’s water supply by offering people simple ways to use less water. Since the program’s inception in 2006, WaterSense has helped consumers save a cumulative 46 billion gal of water and $343 million in water and sewer bills.