New Jersey American Water is marking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 5 th annual Fix-a-Leak Week, which runs from March 18-24, with the installation of a 3D-art floor graphic illustration of a water main break at Sahara Sam’s Oasis in Berlin, NJ on Saturday, March 23 at 10 a.m. The illustration, while depicting the complex world of infrastructure under our feet, also shows that leaks can waste a large volume of our most precious natural resource: water. Fix-a-Leak Week is a national awareness campaign through the EPA’s WaterSense program which focuses on how small leaks and other water waste may be occurring within homes.
Just as aging water infrastructure beneath municipal streets can begin to fail and result in water loss, a seemingly minor leaky faucet or running toilet collectively can cause a tremendous amount of wasted water. More than one trillion gallons of water are lost annually nationwide through leaks occurring within our homes, with an average residence losing 11,000 gallons a year this way. However, at this weekend’s event and through initiatives like Fix-a-Leak Week, New Jersey American Water is hoping to significantly reduce that amount.
The leak pictured in New Jersey American Water’s unique 10’ x 10’ floor graphic at Sahara Sam’s becomes a 3D illusion of a real trench with a “crew” from the water company repairing a water main break when photographed from a specific angle. This scene is particularly relevant considering that every two minutes a water main breaks somewhere in the U.S. and that 15 percent of New Jersey American Water’s 9,000 miles of pipes are nearly a century old. In homes, leaks can, on average, account for 10,000 gallons of lost water each year according to the EPA.
“When a water main breaks, it becomes obvious that a lot of water is lost as it rushes out of the pipes, but a subtle leak from your home’s plumbing fixtures, over time, can waste just as much water as a typical main break,” said Suzanne Chiavari, New Jersey American Water’s vice president of engineering. “Water is a finite resource. It’s critically important that we use water wisely and the EPA’s Fix-a-Leak Week program is a very effective means through which to spread this message.”