WaterSense                                 ^Fix a  Leak Week

                                                                     March 16-20,  2009

          What Is Fix a  Leak Week?

          March 16 to 20, 2009, marks the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's WaterSense® program's
          first "Fix a Leak Week," a time to remind Americans to check their household fixtures and irrigation
          systems for leaks.

          The Facts on Leaks:

          •   Leaks account for large amounts of water wasted in the home—on average, more than 11,000
              gallons per home per year, which is enough to fill a backyard swimming pool.
          •   The amount of water leaked from U.S. homes could exceed more than 1 trillion gallons per
              year. That's equivalent to the annual water use of Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami combined.
          •   Ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day.
          •   Common types of leaks found in the home include leaking toilet flappers, dripping faucets,
              and other leaking valves. All are easily correctable.
          •   Fixing easily corrected household water leaks can save homeowners more than 10 percent on
              their water bills.
          •   Keep your home leak-free  by repairing dripping faucets, toilet valves, and showerheads. In
              most cases, fixture replacement parts don't require a major investment and can be installed
              by do-it-yourselfers.
          •   The vast majority of leaks can be eliminated after retrofitting a household with new
              WaterSense labeled fixtures and other high-efficiency appliances.

          Leak Detection:

          •   A good method to check for leaks is to examine your winter water usage. It's likely that a family
              of four has a serious leak problem if its winter water use exceeds 12,000 gallons per month.
          •   Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If
              the meter does not read exactly the same, you probably have a leak.
          •   One way to find out if you have a toilet leak is to place a drop of food coloring in the toilet
              tank. If the color shows up in the bowl without flushing, you have a leak. Make sure to flush
              immediately after this experiment to avoid staining the tank.

          Faucets and Showerheads:

          •   A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons
              per year. A home with WaterSense labeled toilets could use that water to flush for six months!
          •   You can reduce faucet leaks by checking faucet washers and gaskets for wear and replacing
              them if necessary. If you are replacing a faucet, look for the WaterSense label.
January 2009                (866) WTR-SENS (987-7367) • www.epa.gov/watersense • watersense@epa.gov

•   A showerhead leaking at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons per year. That's
    enough water to wash 60 loads of dishes in your dishwasher.
•   Most leaky showerheads can be fixed by ensuring a tight connection using pipe tape and
    a wrench.


•   If your toilet is running constantly, you could be wasting 200 gallons of water or more
    every day.
•   If your toilet is leaking, the cause is most often an old, faulty toilet flapper.  Over time, this
    inexpensive rubber part decays, or minerals build up on it. It's usually best to replace the
    whole rubber flapper—a relatively easy, inexpensive do-it-yourself project that pays for
    itself in no time.
•   If you do need to replace the entire toilet, look for a WaterSense labeled model. If a family
    of four replaces its older, inefficient toilets with new WaterSense labeled ones, it could save
    more than  16,000 gallons per year. Retrofitting the house could save the family approxi-
    mately $2,000 in water and wastewater bills over the lifetime of the toilets.


•   An irrigation system should be checked  each spring before use to make sure it was not
    damaged by frost or freezing.
•   An irrigation system with pressure set at 60 pounds per square inch that has a leak 1/32nd
    of an inch in diameter (about the thickness of a dime) can waste about 6,300 gallons of
    water per month.
•   To ensure that your in-ground irrigation  system is not leaking water, consult with a
    WaterSense irrigation partner who has passed a certification program focused on water
    efficiency; visit www.epa.gov/watersense for a complete list of irrigation partners.
•   Check your garden hose for leaks at its connection to the spigot.  If it leaks while you run
    your hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the
    spigot using pipe tape and a wrench.

About EPA's WaterSense Program

WaterSense is a partnership program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Its mission is to protect the future of our nation's water supply by promoting and enhancing  the
market for water-efficient products and services. Currently, there are nearly 250 WaterSense
labeled toilets, 500 labeled faucets and faucet accessories, and more than 550 certified irriga-
tion partners. WaterSense labeled products must achieve independent, third-party testing and
certification to prove they meet EPA's rigorous criteria for efficiency and performance.

For more information, visit www.epa.gov/watersense.