Iowa Utilities Board supports program to promote water efficiency and conservation
(Des Moines) – At a time when rising prices translate to higher spending for everything from groceries to housing, homeowners can reduce their monthly costs by identifying the source of leaks around the house that are wasting water ― and money.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that nearly a trillion gallons of water are wasted each year nationwide through minor residential drips and leaks, and 10 percent of U.S. homes have leaks that waste 90 or more gallons of water a day.
The Iowa Utilities Board joins the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and the EPA’s WaterSense program partners in supporting Fix a Leak Week, March 20-26, and encourages Iowans to correct those costly leaks.
The most common home water leaks are dripping faucets, worn toilet flappers, and faulty valves. According to the EPA, a faucet dripping once per second leaks 3,000 gallons a year. Simple fixes to household leaks could save homeowners about 10 percent on their water bills.
Here are some tips for easily identifying leaks in your home without the need for tools:
- Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is used. If the meter reading has changed, you could have a leak.
- Review your water usage during cold months. If the amount exceeds 12,000 gallons for a family of four, you likely have a serious leak.
- Place a drop of food coloring in toilet tanks to check for leaks. Without flushing, wait 10 minutes to see if any color appears in the bowl. If it does, you have a leak.
- Observe faucet handles, gaskets and fittings for signs of water outside the pipe that could indicate a leak.
- Check landscape irrigation systems before using it in the spring to make sure no damage occurred from frost or freezing.
Learn more about problematic leaks and water conservation at www.epa.gov/watersense.