California American Water has partnered with the Environmental Protection Agency to promote its annual “Fix a Leak Week,” which runs from March 12-18.
The campaign, part of the EPA’s WaterSense program, is designed to raise awareness about small leaks and other water waste that may be occurring within our homes. Although a leaky faucet or garden hose may seem like a small problem to the individual homeowner, in aggregate these seemingly minor leaks add up to a colossal amount of wasted water when considering there are more than 110 million households in the United States.
The EPA estimates that more than a trillion gallons of water are lost annually nationwide through leaks occurring within our homes, with average residence losing 11,000 gallons a year this way. However, through the “Fix a Leak Week” campaign in partnership with local water purveyors like California American Water, we are hoping to significantly reduce that amount.
“A leaky faucet or sprinkler may not seem like a big deal to the individual resident,” said California American Water Northern Division General Manager Andy Soule. “But when you take your leaky faucet and add it with your neighbor’s leaky showerhead and his neighbor’s leaky toilet and so on, you’re talking about an enormous amount of water being wasted on a national level. The good news is that as small as these leaks seem, the repairs to fix them are generally small and inexpensive as well. That’s what this campaign endeavors to demonstrate.”
To assist customers with at-home leak repairs and prevention, California American Water has produced an in-depth home conservation video that educates customers on specific actions they can take to save water around the house and provides information on the company’s home water audit and rebate programs. This video can be found the company’s YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/caamwater.
California American Water also offers several ways for homeowners to identify and repair dripping faucets, running toilets and leaky showerheads. In many cases, fixture replacement parts can be installed by the customer and often pay for themselves quickly. Some of those tips include:
- Leaky toilets are most often the result of a worn toilet flapper. Replacing the rubber flapper is a quick fix that could save a home up to 200 gallons of water per day.
- Reduce faucet leaks by checking faucet washers and gaskets for wear and, if necessary, replace the faucet with a WaterSense-labeled model.
- For a leaky garden hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench.
- Landscape irrigation systems should be checked each spring before use to make sure they were not damaged over the winter and checked monthly when in use.
In addition to these steps, California American Water, a longtime partner of the WaterSense program, and other area water districts offer a variety of programs, incentives and rebates to help customers reduce their water use.
Most districts offer free conservation kits with tools like toilet leak detection kits, low flow showerheads and garden hose nozzles and information about water efficient landscaping. Replace a toilet installed before 1992 and save four gallons or more a flush; water efficient clothes washers use up to 50 percent less water than standard models; rebates up to $100 are available for both items. Another program for California American Water customers is the WaterWise home survey, where a water conservation specialist visits a customer’s home free of charge to help inspect irrigation systems, bathrooms and kitchens for leaks and provide tips on ways to improve the home’s water efficiency.
If homeowners have to replace a plumbing fixture, EPA reminds them to look for the WaterSense label. WaterSense-labeled toilets and faucets have been independently tested and certified to save water and perform as well as or better than standard models. For more information on Fix a Leak Week, visit www.epa.gov/watersense/fixaleak.
California American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), provides high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 600,000 people.
Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs approximately 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in more than 30 states and parts of Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.amwater.com.
Evan Jacobs, 916-568-4252