That dripping faucet or running toilet you haven’t gotten around to fixing contribute to the 10,000 gallons of water, or 256,000 glasses of water, wasted each year from residential water leaks. When annual U.S. home leaks are combined, more than one trillion gallons of water is wasted.
Florida’s Public Service Commission (PSC) urges you to stop wasting water and fix your water leaks during Fix-a-Leak Week, March 12-18. Sponsored each spring by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense Program, Fix-a-Leak Week promotes efficient water use to highlight water supply challenges. Checking for, and fixing, leaks in your home plumbing and irrigation systems is an easy first step to conserve water.
“Fixing leaks not only helps conserve water, it can also save money on monthly water bills,” said PSC Chairman Ronald Brisé. “In many instances, easy water leak repairs can save more than 10 percent on a residential water bill.”
To help identify areas both inside and outside the home where saving water is easy and effective, view the PSC’s illustrated water house in the Drop by Drop brochure available online at http://www.floridapsc.com/Files/PDF/Publications/Consumer/Brochure/WaterHouse.pdf. Common fixes include replacing or repairing dripping faucets, running toilets, and leaky showerheads, which quickly pay for themselves through lower water bills.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
Reduce faucet leaks by checking faucet washers and gaskets for wear and, if necessary, replace the faucet with a WaterSense labeled model.
Leaky toilets are most often the result of a worn toilet flapper. Replacing the rubber flapper is a quick fix that could save a home with a constantly running toilet up to 200 gallons of water per day.
For a leaky garden hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench.
Landscape irrigation systems should be checked each spring before use to make sure they are not damaged by frost or freezing.
Not sure if you have a water leak? Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, you probably have a leak. Also, check your water bill to monitor monthly household usage. If winter water use exceeds 12,000 gallons per month for a family of four, it’s likely that there’s a water leak.
For more information on Fix-a-Leak Week, visit www.epa.gov/watersense/fixaleak. For more information on water conservation, visit www.floridapsc.com and click on “Publications.”
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.
Follow the PSC on Twitter, @floridapsc.