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Water customers urged to ‘fix a leak’

Clayton County Water Authority customers are urged to “fix a leak” during an annual national campaign to stop losses through faulty plumbing.

Authority spokeswoman Suzanne Brown said this year’s Fix a Leak week, which started Sunday, is sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA’s ongoing “We’re for Water” campaign urges all Americans to help put a stop to more than 1 trillion gallons of water wasted from household leaks every year.

The authority is promoting finding and fixing residential leaks, said General Manager P. Michael Thomas.

“Leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water in an average home every year — enough water to wash nearly 10 months’ worth of laundry,” he said. “As a WaterSense partner, we are encouraging consumers to find and fix leaks to save water in our community.”

Brown said CCWA is asking consumers to check, twist and replace in an ongoing effort to preserve water for future generations. First, check for leaks.

“An easy way to start is to examine your winter water use,” she said. “If it exceeds 9,000 gallons per month, you probably have leaks. Look for dripping faucets, shower heads and fixture connections. Also check for toilets with silent leaks by putting a few drops of food coloring into the tank and seeing if it appears in the bowl before you flush. Don’t forget to check irrigation systems and outdoor spigots, too.”

Second, twist and tighten pipe connections.

“Apply pipe tape to be sure plumbing fixture connections are sealed tight and give leaking faucets and shower heads a firm twist with a wrench,” said Brown. “To save more water without a noticeable difference in flow, twist on a WaterSense-labeled faucet aerator. Faucet aerators cost a few dollars or less and can save a household more than 500 gallons each year — enough to do 14 loads of laundry.

And finally, replace the fixture if necessary.

“If you just can’t nip that drip, it may be time to replace the fixture,” she said. “Look for WaterSense-labeled models, which are independently tested and certified to use 20 percent less water and perform as well as or better than standard models. Replacing an old, inefficient shower head with a WaterSense-labeled model will shrink your household’s water footprint by 2,300 gallons annually while still letting you shower with power.”

In many cases, fixture replacement parts pay for themselves quickly and can be installed by handy do-it-yourselfers, or contact a trusted plumbing professional, said Brown. WaterSense also partners with certified landscape professionals who can check irrigation systems for leaks.

Visit www.epa.gov/watersense to find WaterSense-labeled products or an irrigation partner. For more information on Fix a Leak Week, visit www.epa.gov/watersense/fixaleak.