Do you know where your house is wasting water? Did you know that, across the country, leaks account for more than one trillion gallons of water wasted each year? That’s enough water annually to supply Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado combined.
Each year, the average American home wastes more than 10,000 gallons of water on easy-to-fix household leaks. That’s how much water a family uses to wash 10 months’ worth of laundry, and it could be adding 10 percent to your water bill.
1. Check your water bill in winter; if a family of four uses more than 12,000 gallons per month, you may have a leak. If your water bill is not measured in gallons, you can easily find a conversion calculator online. Finding and fixing leaks around the home is as easy as check, twist and replace.
2. Check toilets for leaks by putting food coloring in the tank and waiting a few minutes; if the color shows up in the bowl before you flush, you have a leak. The culprit may be a worn rubber flapper, which can be easily replaced at a hardware store. You should also check your outdoor watering system this spring for damage from freezing temperatures.
3. Twist the joints connecting your showerhead and use pipe tape to ensure a tighter connection if you’ve got a leak. Outdoors, twist the hose connection tightly to the spigot and replace the hose washer if necessary. Replace worn gaskets to nip faucet drips; one drip per second wastes 3,000 gallons of water per year! If you need to replace an entire fixture, look for the WaterSense label, which signifies that a product has been independently certified to use less water and perform well.
For information about finding and fixing leaks, visit www.epa.gov/watersense.