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American households waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water each year due to leaky pipes, toilets, showerheads and other fixtures, but fixing leaks can be easy and inexpensive. During the 4th annual Fix a Leak Week, March 12-18, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program is educating Americans about the importance of fixing leaks around the home, which will save water and nearly 10% on utility bills.
WaterSense’s 2011 Manufacturer Partner of the Year Delta Faucet Co., in partnership with the EPA, GreenPlumbers USA, United Way, Ronald McDonald House, and various local water utilities and governments, is fixing leaks this week in more than 1,000 low-income households and community facilities in Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, San Francisco and Seattle. Delta will fix leaky toilets and faucets, and install WaterSense-labeled showerheads in each location; it estimates that these actions will save millions of gallons of water this year alone.
“The amount [of water] we’re losing could supply Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami for a full year,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “We’re not just losing water, we’re also losing the money our communities put into keeping our water clean and healthy. That’s why Fix a Leak Week is so important, and why we encourage everyone to take a few simple steps that can add up to have a significant positive impact.”
The average American home leaks more than 10,000 gallons of water per year, which is equivalent to the water needed to wash 280 loads of laundry, take more than 600 showers or meet the average family’s water needs for a month.
Finding and fixing leaks around the home is as easy as check, twist and replace:
- Check for leaks. Toilet leaks can be found by putting a few drops of food coloring into the tank and seeing if color appears in the bowl before you flush. Don’t forget to also check irrigation systems and spigots.
- Twist and tighten pipe connections. To save even more water without a noticeable difference in flow, twist on a WaterSense-labeled faucet aerator or showerhead.
- Replace the fixture if necessary. Look for the WaterSense label when replacing plumbing fixtures, which are independently certified to use 20% less water and perform as well as or better than standard models.
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 more than $2 billion in water and energy bills.
For more information about finding and fixing leaks, visit www.epa.gov/watersense/fixaleak. For more information on WaterSense or to find a retailer in your area that carries WaterSense-labeled products, visit www.epa.gov/watersense.