WMBD/WYZZ - Washington - The EPA has announced that this week is national “Fix-a-Leak Week”, and while the name might sound funny, saving thousands of gallons of water a year from tiny leaks in your sinks and toilets is a serious way to take environmental action. Leaky faucets are a common occurrence in homes everywhere and are often overlooked because of how small they usually are. It can’t be that big of a deal, right? “They dont think of it in terms of a lot of water, but when it runs for days on end, it becomes a problem,” says plumber Mark Novy. And those leaks and drips can waste over a trillion gallons of water a year in the U.S. alone. That’s over 11,000 gallons of water per home. While sinks are commonly thought of as the worst offenders, it’s actually a leaky toilet that could leave you flushing your money down the… well, you know. “Theres a flapper inside the toilet that usually goes bad, especially if youre using drop-ins or any of those chlorine tablets that go in there,” Novy says. The problem is this type of leak is hard to spot or hear, which leads to a lot of wasted water and money over a short of time. “I have a friend around the corner here who had four leaky toilets,” Novy says. “They were all the same type of toilets, and it ended up costing him a nine-hundred dollar water bill in one month.” That’s over 2000 gallons of wasted water, but finding these leaks are fairly easy. “The easiest way to find out is to take some food coloring, drop it in the top of the tank where water sits and wait for it to come out in the bowl,” Novy says. “If it comes out in the bowl, you know youve got a flapper problem. You need to change that.” Another way to check for a leak is to look at your water gauge. If it moves when you have no water running, you probably have a leak. A simple inspection is all you need sometimes to start saving not only the environment, but a few dollars, as well. With these tough economic times, Novy’s company, All Seasons, is raffling off a free service call once a week for people in Washington whose leaks are making it difficult to pay their water bills.
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