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Fix a Leak Week
Information courtesy of EPA WaterSense...

The Environmental Protection Agency celebrates Fix a Leak Week each March to remind Americans to check their household fixtures and irrigation systems for leaks. Household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide. Thatís equal to the annual household water use of more than 11 million homes.

A one gallon per minute leak can add up to more than half a million gallons per year. Being handy around the house doesnít have to be difficult. Common types of leaks found in the home include worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves. These types of leaks are often easily correctable, requiring only a few tools and hardware that can pay for themselves in water savings.

To check for leaks in your home, you first need to determine whether or not youíre wasting water. If you are, then youíll need to identify the source of the leak.

Take a look at your water usage during a colder month, such as January or February. If a family of four exceeds 12,000 gallons per month, there are serious leaks inside your home from a fixture (such as a toilet).

Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes at all, you probably have a leak at a toilet. Identify toilet leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If any color shows up in the bowl after 10 minutes, you have a leak. (Be sure to flush immediately after the experiment to avoid staining the tank.)

Examine faucet gaskets and pipe fittings for any water on the outside of the pipe to check for surface leaks.

The Regional Water Providers Consortium has a video on detecting household leaks at the following webpage that you may find helpful http://www.conserveh2o.org/how-to-videos-water-conservation. Additional useful information about fixing household leaks, both indoors and outdoors, is available at http://www3.epa.gov/watersense/our_water/fix_a_leak.html.


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