City of Talent Oregon / NewsMedford Water Commission Promotes Fix a Leak Week, March 20-26Get Ready to Find and Fix Leaks During Fix-A-Leak Week, March 20 through the 26th
Drip. Drip. Drip.
The average American household wastes more than 10,000 gallons of water each year from easy-to-fix water leaks, according to the EPA. If that doesn't seem like a lot, consider that across the country, easy-to-fix household leaks can add up to more than 1 trillion gallons of water every year, equal to the annual water use of more than 11 million homes.
That's why we're joining with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to encourage our customers to find and fix leaks during the annual Fix a Leak Week, March 20-26. Fixing household leaks not only saves water, but also reduces your water bill. It's a win-win!
Do you have a leak?
A good clue is the section of your water bill that shows how much water you used during the previous month, as well as the graph comparing your water use to other months. While the size of your household and your water use habits will determine what's normal for your household, the typical single-family household in our area uses about 5,000 gallons of water per month during the winter and about 25,000 gallons during a hot summer month. If your use is much higher than this during those periods, you may have a leak.
Another simple step to investigate whether you have a leak is to check your water meter. Turn off all water-using appliances/fixtures (including automatic ice makers) before leaving the house for an hour or two. Write down the numbers from your water meter, and do the same as soon as you return. If the register has changed, you likely have a leak.
The usual suspects:
Toilets are the most common source of household leaks. To test for a leak, put a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank, then wait about 15 minutes. If dye appears in the toilet bowl without flushing, there is a leak.
If your toilet is leaking, the cause is often an old or faulty flapper. Over time, this inexpensive rubber part decays. Replacing the flapper is a relatively easy, inexpensive do-it-yourself project that pays for itself in no time.
If you do need to replace the entire toilet, be aware that we offer a rebate program
that will pay up to $85 per toilet when you purchase a low-flush toilet with the Water Sense label.
Dripping faucets and showerheads can waste a surprising amount of water. A leak that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year, the amount of water needed to take more than 180 showers!
Leaky faucets are usually caused by worn washers or O-rings. Repairing this type of leak often involves little more than turning off the supply line to the faucet, replacing the washer, and turning the line on again. Most leaky showerheads can be fixed by ensuring a tight connection using pipe tape and a wrench.
To tackle more serious leaks, you may need to contact a leak detection company or plumber with specialized leak detection equipment. If you repair a leak promptly and notify us, you may be eligible to receive an adjustment on your bill. Click here
to download a handy checklist (aqui
en Espanol) to detect and chase down common household leaks.
A little attention and often simple repairs can save you and our water system from unnecessary expenses. Start being a leak detective today!
Contact: Cody Scoggins, Water Efficiency Coordinator, by email
or by phone at 541-774-2436.