The average household leaks nearly 10,000 gallons of water per year. That’s the amount of water it takes to wash 300 loads of laundry. It could be costing you an additional 10% on your water bills.
In just 10 minutes, you can search your home for leaks and cut down your water waste. Many common household leaks are quick to find and easy to fix. Worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and leaking shower heads all are easily correctable, and can save on your utility bill expenses and water in your community.
Take this 10-minute challenge to detect and chase down leaks!
Check Your Water Bill
A great place to start is to examine your utility bill for January or February. It’s likely that a family of four has a serious leak problem if its winter water use exceeds 12,000 gallons (or 16 CCF) per month. You can also look for spikes—is your water use a lot higher this month than it was last month?
Read Your Water Meter
Find your water meter, which is usually near the curb in front of your home. Remove the lid on your meter, which is heavy and usually marked “water.” Take a reading during a period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same after two hours, you probably have a leak.
Take a Toilet Test
Put a few drops of food coloring into the tank at the back of your toilet and let it sit for 10 minutes. If color shows up in the bowl, you have a leak. Make sure to flush afterward to avoid staining, and consider replacing your old toilet flapper if it is torn or worn.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s annual Fix A Leak Week is March 15-21, but you can find and fix leaks inside and outside of your home, and save water and money anytime. Learn how at epa.gov/watersense.
By Stacy Brown, contributing writer and marketing/communications manager for the City of Woodstock.