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Do You Have a Leaky House?

The average family wastes nearly 10,000 gallons of water per year due to household leaks. That's the amount of water it takes to wash 300 loads of laundry. Leaks could be costing you an additional 10% on your water bill.

In just 10 minutes, you can search your home for leaks and cut down your water waste because many common issues are easy to fix. Worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and leaking shower heads are simple to correct and can save you money, and help you avoid wasting water in your community.

Take this 10-minute challenge to detect and chase down leaks:

Review Your Water Bill
Start by examining your utility bill for January or February. It's likely that a family of four has a serious leak problem if their winter water use exceeds 12,000 gallons (16 CCF) per month. You can also look for spikes — is your water use a lot higher this month than it was last month?

Read Your Water Meter
Find your water meter, typically located near the curb in front of your home. Remove the lid on the meter, which is heavy and usually marked "water." Take a reading during a period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same after two hours, you probably have a leak.

Test Your Toilets
Put a few drops of food coloring into the tank at the back of your toilet and let it sit for 10 minutes. If color shows up in the bowl, you have a leak. Make sure to flush afterward to avoid staining and consider replacing your old toilet flapper if it is torn or worn.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency's annual Fix A Leak Week is March 15-21, but you can find and fix leaks inside and outside of your home to save water and money anytime. Learn how at EPA.gov/watersense.
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