10,000 gallons wasted each year
Did you know that the average American household ends up wasting 10,000 gallons of water each year? According to the EPA, that is enough to take care of 270 loads of laundry. This much water would weigh about 83,000 pounds all together, the same weight as approximately 23 cars.
If you spread out these statistics across the country, household leaks can mean more than 1 trillion gallons wasted. That’s a lot of wasted water! (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
Many homes waste at a high level
The EPA’s fact sheet said 10 percent of American homes end up wasting 90 gallons or more per day without even knowing it. Common areas where these leaks may be springing up include faucets, showerheads, toilet flappers and other household valves. Get these checked out to ensure a household isn’t losing valuable water each day; the EPA said this can help save 10 percent on a monthly water bill.
People may be able to correct many of these leaks if they retrofit their appliances with the high-efficiency appliances given the thumbs up by the EPA’s WaterSense program. Click here to read more about this program from Contractor Magazine. (Photo by Jonathan Wood/Getty Images)
Looking for leaks
One suggestion for figuring out if a household is leaking excess water is checking their winter usage. According to the EPA, if 12,000 gallons of water per month for a family of four are exceeded during winter, it’s likely that home has a leak.
Another suggestion is checking the water meter before and after a window of time (the EPA suggests two hours) where no water is being used. If there were changes, the house likely has a leak. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
Outdoor systems can leak, too
You may think about the inner-workings of a household when it comes to leaks, but the EPA mentions that a home’s irrigation systems needs to be checked every spring to ensure it was not damaged by freezing temperatures. Even a tiny crack (the EPA cites 1/32nd of an inch, as an example), can cause more than 6,000 gallons of water to leak per month.
Also important is to check garden hoses to ensure there are no water leaks near the line or in the rubber hose. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
Fun facts about how your house is leaking
A couple of fun leak facts from household faucets and appliances include:
- A leaky faucet at a rate of one drip per second can mean more than 3,000 gallons of water wasted per year
- Showerheads that leak 10 drips per minute can mean 500 gallons of water needlessly down the drain each year
The EPA suggests ensuring a tight connection in the case of the showerhead and checking faucet washers and gaskets for wear and tear in the first bullet point. Being aware of both of these is a great first step in fixing them. (Photo Illustration by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
The classic: a leaky toilet
Ah, who can’t love a classic? We’ve all likely had a leaky toilet in our home at some point in our lives; the EPA said in most cases, this was due to an old, faulty toilet flapper. This is an inexpensive part that can be easily replaced (hey, maybe even as a do-it-yourself project for some well-versed customers).
The EPA suggests, if there is a bigger fix needed (such as a complete replacement), going for a WaterSense labeled model could save as much as 13,000 gallons of water per year. Retrofitting an entire house could save as much as $2,400, the EPA said. (Photo by Nadine Hutton /Getty Images)