With minor water leaks accounting for more than 1 trillion gallons of water wasted each year in U.S. homes, Santa Barbara County water providers are getting the word out about “Fix a Leak Week,” now through Sunday.
Fix a Leak Week is sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program as an annual reminder to check household plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems for leaks.
To help homeowners save money and water, WaterSense educates consumers about ways to identify and repair dripping faucets, running toilets and leaky showerheads. In most cases, fixture replacement parts can be installed by do-it-yourselfers.
Here are a few water-saving ideas:
» Reduce faucet leaks by checking faucet washers and gaskets for wear and, if necessary, replace the faucet with a WaterSense labeled model.
» Leaky toilets are most often the result of a worn toilet flapper. Replacing the rubber flapper is a quick fix that could save a home with a constantly running toilet up to 200 gallons of water per day.
» For a leaky garden hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench.
» Be sure to check your landscape irrigation system by turning on and looking for any needed repairs each spring.
On average, leaks in a home can account for more than 10,000 gallons of wasted water per year, enough to fill a backyard swimming pool. Did you know that 10 percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day?
Water purveyors throughout Santa Barbara County offer assistance in saving water such as rebates for water-efficient fixtures and free water checkups. Click here for more ideas on saving water and to find out what local water providers offer.
— Alison Jordan is a water conservation coordinator for the city of Santa Barbara.