Small drips from faucets and often-overlooked toilet tank leaks can add up quickly. Helping homeowners fix the drips to save money and water is the goal of the annual “Fix a Leak Week,” running March 20-26. Fix a Leak Week is a national campaign that helps raise awareness about leaks and other water issues that contribute to water waste within homes, and Pennsylvania American Water is joining the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to promote water conservation and help provide savings to customers.
“Customers might barely notice a small drip at their faucet, but at the rate of one drip per second, it can waste more than 3,000 gallons a year — enough for more than 180 showers,” said Pennsylvania American Water Vice President of Operations Jim Runzer. “Fortunately, most common leaks are easily detectable and correctable, which not only makes you a more environmentally conscious consumer, but also saves money on your monthly water and sewer bill.”
According to the EPA, the average residence in the U.S. loses 10,000 gallons of water per year from seemingly minor leaks. With more than 110 million households in the U.S., this equates to more than one trillion gallons of water lost every year due to leaks in the home. Moreover, it is estimated that the average homeowner can reduce his or her water bills by 10 percent simply by addressing leaks.
Runzer added, “As a water utility, we work every day to practice what we preach, which is why we invest millions in our pipes each year to reduce system leaks.”
Pennsylvania American Water is committed to fixing leaks in its underground network of pipes by constantly replacing and upgrading its infrastructure. Over the past five years, the company has funded more than $2 billion in system upgrades and plans to invest $450 to $600 million annually over the next several years to continue providing safe, clean, reliable, and affordable water and wastewater services to customers.
To assist customers with at-home leak repairs and prevention, Pennsylvania American Water has helpful information including tips on finding and fixing common, and some not-so-common, indoor and outdoor water leaks along with downloadable leak detection kits, available in English and Spanish, through the company’s leak detection webpage.
Pennsylvania American Water also offers these starter tips for detecting 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.
- 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.
- 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.