Leaks Can Run, But They Can't Hide
Are you ready to chase down leaks? Household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide, so each year we hunt down the drips during Fix a Leak Week. Mark your calendars for Fix a Leak Week 2021, March 15-21, 2021, but remember that you can race over to your plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems, fix the leaks, and save valuable water and money all year long. The City of Highland Park participates in Fix a Leak Week every March and we encourage you to join us.
Sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) WaterSense® program as part of the We’re for Water campaign, this week is an opportunity to improve the water efficiency of your home by finding and fixing leaks. In the average home, household leaks waste more than 10,000 gallons of water each year. That's the amount of water needed to wash 270 loads of laundry.
Fixing household leaks not only saves water but reduces water utility bills by about 10 percent.
Here’s how to identify leaks around your home:
- Winter months are the prime time to check water use and see if you may have a leak. If a family of four exceeds 12,000 gallons per month in the winter, you probably have leaks!
- Check your water meter, if it is accessible within the home, 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.
- One way to find out if you have a toilet leak is to place a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If the color shows up in the bowl within 15 minutes without flushing, you have a leak. Make sure to flush immediately after this experiment to avoid staining the tank. For more information on checking a toilet, visit the H2Ouse Water SaverHome Toilet Page.
Here’s how you can address leaks found at home:
- Check for leaks. Look for dripping faucets, shower heads, and fixture connections. Don’t forget to check irrigation systems and spigots too.
- Twist and tighten pipe connections. Apply pipe tape to be sure plumbing fixture connections are sealed tight and give leaking faucets and shower heads a firm twist with a wrench. To save more water without a noticeable difference in flow, twist on a WaterSense labeled faucet aerator.
Leaks Still Flowing Overboard?
Have you done all that you can to try to eliminate leaks from your home but still can't nip that drip in the bud? If you've already determined you have leaks and you find these step-by-step solutions aren't enough to stop them, it might be time to replace your leaking fixtures. If you consult with a plumbing professional, and look for the WaterSense label when considering a new toilet, faucet, or showerhead, you could increase your home's water efficiency.
Mark your calendar: Fix a Leak Week will occur on March 16-22, 2020. Grab a wrench or contact your favorite handy person, plumber, or WaterSense irrigation partner to address leaking toilets, faucets, showerheads, and irrigation systems around your home.
- “Like” WaterSense on Facebook and follow WaterSense on Twitter for the latest tips and events.
- Water conservation isn’t just for adults. Kids can get involved too! Visit the Kids WaterSense for water conservation activities and games.
- Visit the WaterSense Fix A Leak Week website to learn more.
About EPA's WaterSense Program
WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by EPA, seeks to protect the future of our nation’s water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products, new homes, and services. Since the program’s inception in 2006, WaterSense has helped consumers save 125 billion gallons of water and $2 billion in water and energy bills.