Are you ready to chase down leaks? Household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide, so each year the Suffolk Department of Public Utilities encourages residents to hunt down the drips during Fix a Leak Week. Mark your calendars for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA's) tenth annual Fix a Leak Week which will take place March 19 through 25, 2018, but remember that you can find and fix leaks inside and outside your home to save valuable water and money all year long.
The average household's leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year, and ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day. Common types of leaks found in the home are worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves. These types of leaks are often easy to fix, requiring only a few tools and hardware that can pay for themselves in water savings. Fixing easily corrected household water leaks can save homeowners about 10 percent on their water bills.
To check for leaks in your home, you first need to determine whether you're wasting water and then identify the source of the leak. Here are some tips for finding leaks:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
In many cases, fixture replacement parts pay for themselves quickly and can be installed by handy do-it-yourselfers or local plumbing professionals.
In support of Fix a Leak Week, the Suffolk Department of Public Utilities will be giving away dye tablets next week for citizens to help identify leaks they may have. These free tablets will be available while they last at their City Hall office, located at 442 West Washington Street, between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., March 19th through March 23rd. Dye tablets will also be available at the North Suffolk Library, 2000 Bennetts Creek Park Road, and Morgan Memorial Library, 443 West Washington Street, while supplies last.