Think conservation and get to bottom of water waste

(NAPS)—Have your water bills started creeping up? Or, if less than five people live in your home, does your winter water bill exceed 12,000 gallons per month? Then it’s no mystery; you probably have a water leak.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American household wastes more than 10,000 gallons of water each year from easy-to-fix leaks. That’s enough water to wash 270 loads of laundry! EPA’s WaterSense® program has announced March 20 through 26 as its ninth annual Fix a Leak Week, a time to search out water leaks and stop them in their tracks.

Become a leak detective and follow three simple clues—check, twist, replace—to solve the mystery of water waste in your home.

Check: Examine your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the number changes, you probably have a leak and should investigate further. Check for silent toilet leaks by adding a few drops of food coloring to the tank, then wait 10 minutes; if some color sneaks into the bowl before you flush, the culprit is likely a worn toilet flapper that needs to be replaced.

Twist: Next, snoop around for dripping pipes or fixtures. Just one showerhead that drips 10 times per minute can waste more than 500 gallons of water per year. Stop that drip by tightening the connection between the showerhead and the pipe stem, and use pipe tape to secure it. To save even more, twist a WaterSense labeled aerator on your bathroom faucet, to use 30 percent less water without a noticeable difference in flow.

Replace: If you suspect that one of your leaky fixtures is beyond repair, it may be time for a water-efficient replacement. Consider a WaterSense labeled toilet, faucet, or showerhead that has been independently certified to use less water and perform as well or better than standard models. You can find a lead on products that meet EPA’s criteria for efficiency and performance using the Product Search Tool on the WaterSense website at

Get the facts on leaks and other water-saving tips at