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Spring Into Action! Find Those Leaks!

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Here in the Metro West area it is Spring, and it’s time to think about, and start making, water-saving decisions for the coming  months of higher water usage ahead of us.  We are fortunate here in Metro West to have carefully monitored and treated water, and plenty of it.

Water, however, is a closed system.  There is a finite amount of potable water on the planet and that amount has not changed; yet in the last 50 years the number of people using that water has increased from 2.5 billion inhabitants to over 7 billion as of March 2012!

In America, the average family uses 300-400 gallons of water per day –70% of it inside. A single leak can more than double that usage! The hundreds and yes, thousands of gallons you can save by taking a few minutes to check your home’s plumbing system for leaks and drips this Spring is vital to conserving water for everyone. 

A few quick tips for do-it-yourselfers from the EPA’s Water Sense Partner:

The most important step you can take first is to determine if you are wasting water in your home. Then identify the source of the leak.

  1. Take a look at your water usage during a colder month, such as January or February. If a family of four exceeds 12,000 gallons per month, there are serious leaks.
  2. Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes at all, you probably have a leak.
  3. Identify toilet leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If any color shows up in the bowl after 15 minutes, you have a leak. (Be sure to flush immediately after the experiment to avoid staining the tank.)
  4. Examine faucet gaskets and pipe fittings for any water on the outside of the pipe to check for surface leaks.

While you are at it, check those outside spigots and sprinkler heads as the watering season begins! Remember, a leak as small as 1/8th of an inch (at 60psi) will waste as much as 74,000 gallons of water every three months!

And for the kids? Here's a link to Flo's Kid's Zone for some fun facts and activities around water conservation!