DES MOINES — As so many Iowans are dealing with excess water lately due to flooding, we’re reminded the resource is precious and not to waste it.
Residents in towns where water treatment plants have shut down already know the value of fresh, clean water. Don Tormey, spokesman for the Iowa Utilities Board, says we should all check our homes for sources of drips to save water — and money.
“Nearly one trillion gallons of water is wasted each year in the U.S. through minor residential drips and leaks,” Tormey says. “That’s equal to the total water used by more than 11 million homes.”
A federal report finds 10 percent of homes have leaks that drain more than 90 gallons a day, typically through worn toilet flappers, faulty valves and dripping faucets.
“According to the EPA, a faucet that drips once per second leaks 3,000 gallons a year and an average household leak can lead to 10,000 gallons of lost water annually,” Tormey says. “That’s a lot of water.”
He suggests you check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water was used. A change in the meter reading indicates you could have a leak and there are a few ways you can check.
“You can place a drop of food coloring in a toilet tank to check for leaks. Without flushing, wait 10 minutes to see if any color appears in the bowl. If it does, you have a leak,” Tormey says. “You can check your faucet handles, gaskets and fittings for signs of water outside the pipe that could indicate a leak. Also, if you have an irrigation systems, you should check that each spring.”
Learn more about leaks and water conservation at the website: www.epa.gov/watersense.