L7_national_leaksThis week is Fix A Leak Week, a week dedicated to stopping household water leaks across the nation. As warm weather begins to arrive and you prepare to fill up the swimming pool or water the lawn, now is the perfect time to hunt down those pesky problems and lower your water usage.

Each year, water leaks in the average household total to be about 10,000 gallons – that’s one trillion gallons of wasted water around the country. Identifying and stopping these flows is an important step that can save 10 percent on your water bill and conserve our essential water resources.

Finding out if your home has a leak is quick and simple. Use these four tips to get started:

  • Pull out your water utility bill and look for the section that details your water usage. If you’re a family of four and you use more than 12,000 gallons of water in a given month, there’s likely a serious leak in your home.
  • Check your water meter before and after a long period of time when no water is being used, like when you go to work. If your meter changes, you probably have a leak.
  • Examine faucet gaskets and pipe fittings to see if there’s any water residue on the outside. If there is, that’s an indication of a leak in that area.
  • Toilets are one of the most common places for a leak. To identify a problem with your toilet, place a drop of food coloring in the tank. There’s a leak if colored water shows up in your bowl within 15 minutes.

When you’ve discovered your home has a leak, fixing it is usually no problem. If you’re know the source of the leak, take a trip to your local hardware store for the parts and advice you need to do it yourself. Or, if you need further guidance, call your plumber – they can help you find the leak and solve it for you.

For more information, take a look at the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program here.