HCWA and The Home Depot promoting Fix-A-Leak
Mar 13, 2017 by Chris Wood, Ph.D.
According to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 10 percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day. Thus, residents can save 10 percent on monthly water bills by fixing household leaks.
That’s one of many reasons the Henry County Water Authority (HCWA) is providing an in-store display of money and water saving tips at The Home Depot in Ellenwood on Saturday March 18, from 9:00 a.m. to noon. The Authority’s partnership with The Home Depot is a local effort to kick off national Fix-A-Leak Week, which is March 20-26 this year.
The HCWA serves approximately 58,000 water customers in Henry County. When these and other water utility customers find and fix household leaks, they save dollars on their monthly water bills through wise water use, while reducing waste of this valuable natural resource.
The Authority’s in-store event on March 18 at The Home Depot in Ellenwood will include specific consumer tips, as well as free products and processes for locating and addressing water leaks that can occur inside the home or outdoors. Some common sources of residential water leaks include household fixtures such as toilets, faucets and showerheads, as well as irrigation systems.
According to EPA statistics, a leaky faucet dripping at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year. A shower leaking at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons per year. Minor water leaks account for more than 1 trillion gallons of wasted water each year nationally, which is equal to the annual water use of 11 million homes.
During the in-store event at The Home Depot in Ellenwood on March 18, HCWA employees will show customers how their water bills are calculated and how to check for spikes in consumption as indicators of household leaks.
The Authority also will provide a sample residential water meter to show customers how it works and how it is read, in addition to demonstrating its own leak detection technology used to find and fix leaks within the HCWA water distribution system.
Fix-A-Leak Week is a national event of the EPA WaterSense Program, which is a brand to promote a water-efficiency and wise water use message for consumers. EPA has designated the HCWA as a WaterSense Promotional Partner. By promoting the value of water, the WaterSense Program helps consumers make wise choices regarding their water use and available water-efficient products. For example, by replacing older toilets with WaterSense labeled products, such as those available at The Home Depot, the average family can save 13,000 gallons of water per year.
Some additional tips to save water and dollars include:
- Check your meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is running to see if the meter changes. If so, there likely is a leak. As a form of comparison, a family of four typically uses about 12,000 gallons of water per month.
- Repair leaks by checking faucet washers and gaskets for wear, replacing them as needed.
- Most leaky showerheads can be fixed by tightening the connection between the showerhead and the pipe stem, using pipe tape if necessary.
- Identify toilet leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If the coloring shows in the bowl after 10 minutes, you have a leak. (Remember to flush immediately to prevent the toilet bowl from staining due to the food coloring.)
For more information on wise water use, and tips for finding and fixing household water leaks, check out EPA WaterSense resources online at https://epa.gov/watersense.
Chris Wood, Ph.D.