Cascade Water Alliance (CWA) offers tips to identify leaks, which may be wasting water for Eastside residents, in preparation for Fix A Leak Week.
The Fix A Leak Week campaign runs from March 19 to 25 and was created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to encourage homeowners across the country to find and fix their leaks.
The average American home may waste more than 10,000 gallons of water every year due to running toilets, dripping faucets, and other household leaks, which can significantly raise a homeowner’s water and wastewater bills, according to CWA. Annual household leaks waste 1 trillion gallons nationwide, which is equal to water use in more than 11 million homes.
Residents in CWA’s service area have saved thousands of gallons per day by fixing leaking toilets, the company said in a press release. A leaking toilet is one of the most common leaks and can waste up to 200 gallons of water a day. Toilet leaks can usually be fixed, and finding the leak is the first step in fixing the problem.
CWA recommends homeowners first determine whether or not they’re wasting water, then identify the source of the leak.
An easy way to determine a leak is to monitor water usage while no water is being used outdoors. If a family of four exceeds 12,000 gallons per month, there may be serious leaks. Additionally, homeowners can check their water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used in their home. If the meter changes at all, there’s probably a leak.
Homeowners can specifically identify toilet leaks by placing a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. If any color shows up in the bowl after 10 minutes, there’s a leak. CWA added that homeowners should flush immediately after the experiment to avoid staining the tank and examine faucet gaskets and pipe fittings for any water on the outside of the pipe to check for surface leaks.
More information on detecting a leaking toilet and other water efficiency programs can be found at www.cascadewater.org.
Cascade Water Alliance is a municipal corporation comprised of seven cities and water districts, including the cities of Bellevue, Issaquah, Kirkland, Redmond, Tukwila, Sammamish Plateau Water and Skyway Water and Sewer District, that joined together in 1999 to provide water supply for current and future needs. The agency currently serves 350,000 residents and 20,000 businesses.