Clarksdale Public Utilities Celebrates National Fix A Leak Week

Community encouraged to fix leaks inside and out to save valuable water and money

Water is essential to life. Yet, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, household leaks waste nearly 1 trillion gallons of water per year nationwide. As part of the campaign to illustrate just how costly leaks can be, Clarksdale Public Utilities is observing Fix a Leak Week March 20-26.

Breaking the numbers down further, the EPA estimates that the average household’s leaks can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year. But by fixing these easily corrected leaks, such as worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets and other valves, homeowners can save about 10 percent on their water bills.

“Leaks are often easy repairs, using tools and supplies that can be found at most local hardware stores,” said Curtis D. Boschert, CPU general manager. “Take that leaky faucet, for example. If left to drip at the rate of one drip per second, it alone can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water per year. But for a few dollars and less than two hours of your time, you can easily fix that leak saving valuable water and money in the long run.”

Here’s a closer look at just what those thousands of gallons of water mean in our daily lives:

  • Leaky faucet at one drip per second = 3,000 gallons per year or 180 showers
  • A leak of ½ gallon per minute equals 720 gallons a day; 1 gallon per minute equals 1,440 gallons a day
  • Leaky shower head at 10 drips per minute = 500 gallons per year or 60 dishwasher loads
  • Faulty toilet flapper = 360 gallons of water per year or 25 high efficiency washing machine loads

It doesn’t take long to determine whether you have a leak, or to save water now and in the future. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Examine your overall usage. Look at your water usage during a month when you typically use less such as January or February. If you have a family of four and you exceed 12,000 gallons per month, you most likely have water leaks.
  • Check your water meter. Check your meter readings before and after a two-hour period when water wasn’t used at all anywhere on your property. If you notice that the meter shows usage during that timeframe, you probably have a leak somewhere inside or out.
  • Add a few drops of color. Even if you can’t hear your toilet constantly running due to a faulty flapper, you can still find out if you have a leak by placing a few drops of food coloring in the tank. If any color shows up in the bowl after 10 minutes, you have a silent leak that needs to be addressed. Be sure to flush after the experiment to avoid staining the tank.
  • Listen for drips. Sometimes we’re so caught up in our daily activities that we fail to notice a dripping faucet or showerhead, but the perfect time to check for drips is late at night or early in the morning when the house is quiet. First, be still and listen. Not hearing anything is a good sign, but visual inspections of each faucet and showerhead can help you be sure.
  • Don’t forget outside connections. It’s also a good idea to check outside hose spigots to make sure they aren’t dripping and in need of repair. And if you notice soggy areas around your yard, garden or sidewalk when it hasn’t rained for some time, that is an indication you have an outdoor leak.

What’s more, if the average family would simply replace all older, inefficient toilets with new WaterSense-labeled models, they could save 13,000 gallons of water per year and nearly $2,400 over the lifetime of the toilets. And by replacing a showerhead with a WaterSense-labeled model, the average family could save more than 2,700 gallons of water each year and reduce their annual water and energy costs by more than $75.

For a complete WaterSense guide, check out this handy product search page. And if you need help fixing a leak around your home or business, check out the many online tutorials or consult your local hardware store or a licensed plumber for help.

Clarksdale Public Utilities is a municipally owned utility serving approximately 6,800 homes and businesses in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Its mission is to safely provide sustainable electric, water and wastewater services in a reliable and courteous manner by well-trained team members, committed to top quality, efficient operations, competitive rates and the vitality of the community.

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For more than 125 years, Clarksdale Public Utilities has supplied utility services that support our community’s growth, vibrance and quality of life. But we are more than a provider of reliable and affordable electric, water and wastewater services — we are your family, friends and neighbors. We are people who care. We are CPU.

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