The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says one in 10 homes has a leak that wastes at least 90 gallons of water per day. Given the average cost of water, that adds up to more than $100 a year.
“Easy-to-fix household leaks waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide, which is equal to the amount of water used by more than 11 million homes,” said EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water Nancy Stoner.
In just 10 minutes, you can give your home a water checkup. Start by looking at winter water bills and fixtures for water waste, then twist and tighten pipe and hose connections. Consider replacing broken or inefficient fixtures with WaterSense-labeled models, adjusting water pressure, and softening well water. If winter water usage for a family of four exceeds 12,000 gallons per month, it’s likely your home has a leak problem. Here are some easy tips for finding and fixing it:
- Check toilets for silent leaks by putting a few drops of food coloring in the tank at the back and, if after 10 minutes, color shows up in the bowl before flushing, it may be time to make an easy repair and replace the flapper.
- Check outdoor plumbing and hoses for damage from winter frost and tighten connections at the water source.
- For in-ground sprinkler systems, have a professional certified through a WaterSense-labeled program inspect sprinkler heads and pipes for signs of leakage.
- Check additional plumbing and outdoor fixtures for leaks. They may just need a quick twist or pipe tape.