Ten minutes can save homeowners 10,000 gallons of water a year

Taking 10 minutes to inspect your home for water leaks can lead to big financial savings.

waterBy Peter Lynch, Environmental Engineer

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests that identifying and fixing plumbing leaks—often minor issues with quick and easy fixes—can save homeowners about 10,000 gallons of water a year. With the increase of water prices in recent years, this type of savings can have a very real and positive impact on homeowners’ pocketbooks.

To give you a sense of how much you could be saving, it’s estimated that a leaking faucet can waste about 3,000 gallons of water per year, a dripping showerhead about 500 gallons per year and a running toilet about 200 gallons of water per day.

The EPA provides a set of online tools to help homeowners identify common water leaks, as well as what they can do to fix the problems. The goal is to help people save both money and water resources.

The EPA’s WaterSense website also includes helpful tips on how to be more water efficient, including a calculator to help determine how much water and money can be saved by replacing old plumbing fixtures.

Here are five easy tips to help reduce your monthly water bill:

  1. Turn off the faucet while brushing teeth
  2. Fill up the dishwasher before using it
  3. Wash only full loads of laundry
  4. Use a rain barrel to collect stormwater for use in a garden or flower pots
  5. Water the lawn in cooler, early morning hours, when evaporation is minimal
  6. Inspect your home for leaky toilets, faucets, showerheads and outdoor irrigation systems

Some environmental benefits of saving water:

  • Reduces the amount of sewage failures from overwhelmed treatment works
  • Healthier wetlands—these are excellent, natural water-pollution filters
  • Reduces impact on stream flows and groundwater quality
  • Reduces electricity consumption used to filter and transport water—this has the added benefit of reducing greenhouse gases generated at power plants

Your everyday actions can make an impact, so make conscious decisions on how you use water.