Where Did All Our Clean Water Go?

by K. Phillips ~ Northlake Plumbing

The average household’s leaks can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year and ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day. Common types of leaks found in the home are worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves and connections. Fixing easily corrected household water leaks by qualified plumbers can save homeowners about (10%) ten percent on their water bills which would be like money down the drain.

Remember only about 1% of the water on the earth’s surface is usable for human consumption, therefore water conservation from all of us is critical to our survival. So how bad can a leaky faucet really be? Well, a slow drip can waste about 7-10 gallons of water per day, adding up to more than 3,600 gallons of water per year. This simple small leak can cost you about $20 per year. A more significant faucet leak can produce 30 to hundreds of gallons of wastewater per day. The average costs of these fast dripping faucets will end up costing you $60 to $200 per year.

There are 127.59 million homes in America, If only one million of those homes had just one dripping faucet it would be approximately 7.6 million gallons of water wasted per day or 2.7 billion gallons per year. Multiply 2.7 billion by 127.59 million and that is a number that’s hard to fathom and that’s only figuring 1 million homes have only “one” dripping faucet. If we all decided to stop this waste by fixing the issues ourselves, calling a plumber to help and changing just one wasteful water related habit think of how much fresh, clean water would be saved on the entire earth and will be here for generations to come.

Check the dials on 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. A licensed local plumber can help you with that too. You can identify toilet leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the tank, If any color shows up in the bowl after 10 minutes, you have a leak. (Be sure to flush immediately after the experiment to avoid staining the tank.)

Old and worn washers and gaskets within faucets and valves deteriorate over time and frequently cause leaks and failure in faucets. A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year. That’s the amount of water needed to take more than 180 showers! A shower head leaking at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons per year. That’s the amount of water it takes to wash 60 loads of dishes in your dishwasher. The most common cause for a high water bill is running water from your toilet.

A continuously running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons a day which can double a families typical water use, so fix toilet leaks ASAP. A constantly running toilet may waste about eight gallons per hour, or 200 gallons per day, left unnoticed it could waste over 6,000 gallons per month. Depending on the rate you pay for water and sewer, this could cost you an additional $70 per month assuming you only have one running toilet. Running the dishwasher half full (wastes 320 gallons per year). Leaving the tap open when you brush your teeth (wastes 8 gallons per day).

Letting the water run for five minutes while washing dishes by hand (wastes 10 gallons every time). Failing to fix a broken sprinkler head (wastes an average of around 2,400 gallons per month). Leaking sewer lines can cause bugs, disease and mold, none of which are very pleasant.

By becoming more environmentally conscious and with the help of Northlake Plumbing or a reputable plumber near you, you’ll be doing your part to help save the earth’s water as well as save yourself some hard earned money in the process. Both of which are very cool.