SAN FRANCISCO -- The average American family could be wasting more than 10,000 gallons of water each year due to easy-to-fix household leaks, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) WaterSense program. That amount of water could increase a water bill by as much as 10 percent while wasting precious resources. That’s why EPA is encouraging consumers to participate in WaterSense’s seventh annual Fix a Leak Week, March 16 through 22, 2015, by finding and fixing leaks around the home.
If every household in Arizona lost as much as 10,000 gallons of water per year to leaks, residents would be, cumulatively, spending more than $268 million dollars on water lost to easily detectible and fixable leaks. In Arizona, a drought emergency declaration has been in effect since 1999. According to the U.S. drought monitor’s March 3rd report, over 80% of the state is experiencing drought conditions.
“Conserving Arizona’s limited water resources is everyone’s responsibility,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Household leaks in Arizona may account for 28.9 billion gallons of water wasted each year.”
By following three simple steps—check, twist, and replace—consumers can save water and make their homes more water efficient.
Here’s how to get started finding and fixing leaks:
Check: Look at your water meter, usually located outside your house, before and after a two-hour period of no water use. If the number has changed, there is likely a leak, which could be as simple to fix as replacing a worn rubber flapper in the toilet tank.
Twist: Fix dripping pipes, fixtures, or hoses by using a wrench to twist and tighten the connections. If needed, pipe tape can help seal shower fixtures or hose connections. Remind everyone in the house to turn faucets and showers off tightly, and check washers and valves for persistent drips.
Replace: For old or inefficient fixtures that are not easily repaired, look for WaterSense labeled models to replace them. These water- and money-saving high-performing products are independently certified to use at least 20 percent less water and perform well. You can find the label on the product packaging or the website of your favorite plumbing brand and they are available in a variety of styles and prices at home improvement stores.
To help consumers find and fix leaks, EPA WaterSense partners are sponsoring running races, workshops, contests, and other educational events, for example:
- The Arizona Municipal Water Users Association and its ten member municipalities are hosting the fifth annual One for Water 4-Miler in Peoria’s Rio Vista Park on March 21st. The race includes desert scenery, prizes, giveaways, food, a fun run for kids, and Leaky “Loo” McFlapper, the event’s running toilet mascot. A festival follows the race, with activities for kids, as well as leak-fixing demonstrations and music.
- The City of Goodyear is partnering with Liberty Water, City of Goodyear Ballpark, Cincinnati Reds, and Cleveland Indians to offer two complimentary spring training baseball game tickets (for a game of choice during Fix a Leak Week) to customers presenting a water bill showing lower water usage in January or February of 2015 than in 2014. The Goodyear Ballpark will run a “fix a leak” message on the scoreboard, and the City of Goodyear will staff a table at the ballpark, with Leaky “Loo” McFlapper on hand for post-game events on March 18.
Visit www.epa.gov/watersense/fixaleak to learn more about finding and fixing leaks. The WaterSense Facebook page at www.facebook.com/EPAWatersense also has a map to help you find Fix a Leak Week events in your community.