The Mind-boggling Impact of “Just a Little” Leak

Haven’t we all been guilty of this: “Oh, it’s just a little leak. I’ll fix it later.” But then we came across these mind-blowing facts from the EPA:

  • “The average household’s leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year, or the amount of water needed to wash 270 loads of laundry.”
  • “Household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons annually nationwide. That’s equal to the annual household water use of more than 11 million homes.”
  • “Ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day.”

Yowza, that’s a lot of water waste. So what’s a person to do to stop the leak madness?

On Campus

This is easy. If you see a drip and it can’t be shut off, just call 515-2991. That’s it. NC State Facilities will send someone out to fix the leak fast.

At Home

First, put on your detective hat and start sleuthing for water waste. Know where your water meter is outdoors? You can look at it for clues. If you check the meter before you leave your house and know that your house used no water while you were gone, then the meter should read the same when you re-check it. If not, you have a leak somewhere. Start hunting.

Faucet, showerhead and toilet leaks are among the most common leaks and thankfully they’re easy to spot. It turns out that they aren’t too hard to fix either: showerhead fix-it tutorial and faucet fix-it tutorial.

Toilets are a bit harder since you can’t see the water waste, though sometimes you can hear a toilet running when it shouldn’t be. The best way to check is to put a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank and come back in 15 minutes. If the toilet hasn’t been flushed and you see that color in the toilet bowl, then you probably have a leak. Here are some ideas on how to fix it.

See the Difference When You Fix Leaks

Like seeing the difference you make? Check out this calculator on all the water you save when you fix leaks fast.


Image credit: Flickr

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