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The original item was published from 3/18/2019 11:42:14 AM to 3/27/2019 7:51:06 AM.

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Posted on: March 18, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Fix Leaks, Save Cash

Residents encouraged to detect and fix household leaks

NORFOLK, VA – A simple 10-minute investigation of your home could save you 10 percent on your monthly water charges. In fact, the average household leaks almost 10,000 gallons of water per year, or the amount of water it takes to wash 300 loads of laundry. All that wasted water means wasted money for customers. In observance of Fix-a-Leak Week, March 18-24, residents are encouraged to become leak detectives and check for wasted water throughout their homes. Help plug the 1 trillion gallons of water wasted each year in U.S. homes due to easy-to-fix water leaks.

“Many of the most common household leaks, including faulty toilet flappers, faucets and showerheads, are easy fixes that handy do-it-yourselfers can tackle themselves,” said Rachael Gaul, public information specialist with the Norfolk Department of Utilities. “The savings on your water bill will more than make up for the investment in replacement parts and repair time.” 

Here’s a tip to aid in your search for leaks. 

Take a Toilet Test: Put a few drops of food coloring or leak detection tabs 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. Norfolk residents call Utilities’ ccustomer service at 757-664-6701 to request a FREE packet of leak detection tablets and an informational brochure.
Check these Fix a Leak web pages for handy videos that show you how to do it. or
Additional Program Information:

WaterSense, a voluntary partnership program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is a resource for helping you save water. WaterSense partners across the U.S. and Hampton Roads join the EPA in the annual Fix a Leak Week. 
Leak Facts
  • Faucets and Showerheads:  A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year. Leaky faucets can be reduced by checking faucet washers and gaskets for wear and replacing them if necessary. A showerhead leaking at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons per year. That's enough water to wash 60 loads of dishes in your dishwasher. Most leaky showerheads can be fixed by ensuring a tight connection using pipe tape and a wrench.
  • Toilets: If your toilet is running constantly, you could be wasting 200 gallons of water or more every day. If your toilet is leaking, the cause is most often an old, faulty toilet flapper. Over time, this inexpensive rubber part decays, or minerals build up on it. It's usually best to replace the whole rubber flapper—a relatively easy, inexpensive do-it-yourself project that pays for itself in no time. 
  • Outdoors:  An irrigation system should be checked each spring before use to make sure it was not damaged by frost or freezing. An irrigation system with pressure set at 60 pounds per square inch that has a leak 1/32nd of an inch in diameter (about the thickness of a dime) can waste about 6,300 gallons of water per month. To ensure that your in-ground irrigation system is not leaking water, consult with a plumber who has passed a certification program focused on water efficiency. Check your garden hose for leaks at its connection to the spigot. If it leaks while you run your hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench. It’s also a good idea to install a backflow preventer on all outdoor spigots. 

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