Did you know that 14 out of every 100 gallons of water we use never make it to our faucets, toilets or washing machines? In other words, 14 percent of indoor water use in US households is wasted through leaks. That's a lot of treated, drinkable water going into the ground, or even worse, into your walls and floors!
Get a huge list of tips for finding and fixing leaks on our Water Saving Tips page.
According to the EPA, household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide, so each spring they ask everyone to take a week and hunt down the drips and streams of wasted water. Fix-a-Leak Week is March 16-22, and it's a great time to find and fix your leaks so you can save valuable water and money all year long.
We waste a lot of water in this country. The facts on leaks are startling:
- The average household leak can waste more than 10,000 gallons of water per year. That's 270 loads of laundry!
- Ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day.
- Fixing easily corrected household water leaks can save homeowners about 10 percent on their water bills.
- Common household leaks include worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets and other leaking valves, which are all inexpensive and easily fixed.
- Leaky faucets can be fixed by checking faucet washers and gaskets for wear and replacing them if necessary.
- Most leaky showerheads can be fixed by ensuring a tight connection using pipe tape and a wrench.
- If your toilet is leaking, the cause is often the toilet flapper. Over time, this inexpensive rubber part decays, or minerals build up on it. It's usually best to replace the whole rubber flapper.
Finding and fixing leaks is one of the best ways to reduce water waste. Fix-a-Leak Week events are happening from coast to coast, so check out the 2015 Event Map. Your water utility might even have classes that help you find and fix all your household leaks. Here's one in Texas and one in California.
The week culminates in World Water Day on March 22nd, which is like Christmas for water lovers and water wonks everywhere. Water is the most essential substance on Earth and although it might seem like we have an unlimited supply, we don't. Droughts can happen anywhere and water supplies can quickly become overdrawn. An abundance of clean, safe water is the right of everyone on Earth and it is imperative that we not waste it, especially by letting it leak away.
Now, grab your pipe wrench and your pipe tape and go fix those leaks!