To draw attention to the more than one trillion gallons of water wasted each year in U.S. homes due to leaks, Pennsylvania American Water is partnering with the Environmental Protection Agency to promote the fifth annual “Fix a Leak Week,” which runs March 18-24. “We hope to raise awareness that leaks, if left undetected, can waste thousands of gallons of water in the home every year,” said Pennsylvania American Water Vice President of Operations Steve Tambini. “By participating in EPA’s Fix a Leak Week and WaterSense program, we want to emphasize to customers that water conservation not only saves money, but it also helps to preserve our precious water resources.” Pennsylvania American Water produced a three-minute video showing how to check for leaks throughout the household and how to make easy, inexpensive repairs. The tips can save thousands of gallons of water over the course of a year. The video is posted on the company’s YouTube channel (youtube.com/paamwater) and Facebook page (facebook.com/pennsylvaniaamwater.com). The national awareness campaign, part of the EPA’s WaterSense program, is designed to raise awareness about small leaks and other water waste that might be occurring in homes. Considering there are more than 110 million households in this country, a seemingly minor leaky faucet or running toilet collectively results in a tremendous amount of wasted water. More than a trillion gallons of water are lost annually nationwide through leaks occurring within homes, with the average residence losing 11,000 gallons a year this way. Tambini said Pennsylvania American Water conducts ongoing customer education focused on wise water use to help preserve water supplies. He also recommends the following tips to help save water lost by leaks:
- Regularly check your toilet, faucets, and pipes for leaks. If you find a leak, have it fixed as soon as possible.
- Reduce faucet leaks by checking faucet washers and gaskets for wear and replace them, or, if necessary, replace the faucet with a WaterSense-labeled model.
- Leaky toilets are most often the result of a worn toilet flapper. Replacing the rubber flapper is a quick fix that could save a home up to 200 gallons of water per day.
- For a leaky garden hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench.
- Tighten connections on your showerheads if drips appear when the shower is off.
- Check your garden and lawn irrigation system for leaks, or hire a certified WaterSense expert to check it for you.
- Consider installing water and energy-efficient appliances. The EPA reports that certified Energy Star washing machines use up to 35 percent less water per load. Water-saving shower heads, toilets and faucet aerators also help cut your water usage.