Keep cash from dripping away in leaks

MORROW — The sound of a dripping faucet or running toilet isn’t just annoying, it’s indicative of what could be an expensive leak.

Clayton County Water Authority spokeswoman Suzanne Brown said this is national “Fix a Leak” week, part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ongoing “We’re for Water” campaign. EPA officials said Americans lose more than 1 trillion gallons of water every year through household leaks.

CCWA General Manager P. Michael Thomas said the loss is felt beyond the customer’s water bill.

“Leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water in an average home every year — the amount of water it takes to wash 270 loads of laundry,” he said. “As a WaterSense partner, we are encouraging consumers to find and fix leaks to save water in our community.”

To help save water for future generations, CCWA is asking consumers to “check, twist and replace,” said Brown.

First, check for leaks.

“Look for dripping faucets, shower heads, sprinklers and other fixtures,” she said. “Also check for toilets with silent leaks by putting a few drops of food coloring into the tank, waiting 10 minutes and seeing if color appears in the bowl before you flush. Don’t forget to check irrigation systems and spigots too.”

Second, twist and tighten hose and pipe connections.

“To save water without a noticeable difference in flow in your bathroom, twist on a WaterSense labeled faucet aerator,” said Brown.

Finally, replace the fixture if necessary.

“Look for WaterSense labeled models, which are independently certified to use 20 percent less water and perform as well as or better than standard models,” she said.

In many cases, fixture replacement parts pay for themselves and can be installed by handy do-it-yourselfers or local plumbing professionals, said Brown. Irrigation professionals certified through a WaterSense labeled program can also check plumbing systems for leaks.

Visit www.epa.gov/watersense to find WaterSense labeled products or an auditor, she said. For more information on Fix a Leak Week, visit www.epa.gov/watersense.