Have you been putting off fixing plumbing leaks in your home? Consider this your call to action. The Environmental Protection Agency's Water Sense program is celebrating Fix a Leak Week from March 14 to 20 this year, encouraging households across the nation to hunt down and repair plumbing leaks in the name of saving both water and money. Read on to learn how you can participate to the benefit of both your own family and the nation at large.
Put an End to Wasted Water Today
Plumbing leaks are a major source of waste in the United States. In total, about a trillion gallons are lost every year, an astounding amount especially given the droughts that have stricken large swaths of the country over the past few years. We need to save every drop of water we can, and you can help with a few simple steps around the home.
The EPA suggests a three-prong strategy to help homeowners reduce their water consumption: Check, twist and replace.
Check: The Water Sense program has several clever tactics you can use to discover unknown plumbing leaks in and around your home. The first is to keep an eye on your water meter. Jot down the reading, then wait several hours without turning on any faucets or using water-based appliances in your home. If the meter nevertheless indicates that water has been consumed, you may have a leak somewhere.
Another good trick is to put food coloring in your toilet tank. If the color ends up in the bowl, it means the toilet is running, even if it's too slow to detect with the naked eye.
Twist: The easiest way to stop small leaks in your fixtures is to make sure all the connections and valves are twisted on tightly. Don't neglect to check your hose connections, since irrigation systems can be a major source of leaks. You can also reduce the volume of flow through your faucets by twisting water-saving aerators onto them.
Replace: When twisting doesn't get the job done, it's time to replace old valves and fixtures. Look for the Water Sense label when you buy your new parts so you can consume less water while putting a stop to the leak.
Community Events to Encourage Conservation
Also keep an eye out for Water Sense events in your community. The program has announced that it is partnering with utilities in Charlottesville, Virginia, Cobb County, Georgia and Murray City, Utah to host celebrations of prudent plumbing and offer discounts to consumers who seek out plumber services or water-saving fixtures.