COLUMBUS, Ohio – Household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water per year in the United States alone. That’s equal to the annual household water use of more than 11 million homes.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency are promoting “Fix a Leak Week,” March 19–25, 2018. Fix a Leak Week is sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense® program as an annual reminder to check household plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems for leaks.

“As spring approaches and Ohioans begin preparing for DIY projects and home repairs, the PUCO promotes “Fix a Leak Week” to highlight the ease of making simple, yet cost-saving home repairs,” said PUCO Chairman Asim Z. Haque. “One of the simplest ways homeowners can make their homes more efficient is to identify and fix water leaks.”

“The more water that is conserved, the less water that ultimately has to be sent to the wastewater treatment plant. Community-wide efforts to fix leaks make good environmental and economic sense,” Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler said.

To help consumers here in Ohio and across the country save water, the PUCO, Ohio EPA and WaterSense® are promoting ways to identify and repair dripping faucets, running toilets and leaky showerheads. In most cases, fixture replacement parts pay for themselves quickly and can be installed by do-it-yourselfers, your favorite handy person or plumber. Here are a few water-saving tips:

  • Reduce faucet leaks by checking faucet and showerhead washers and gaskets for wear and, if necessary, replace the faucet with a WaterSense® labeled model.
  • Silent toilet leaks can be found by placing a few drops of food coloring in the tank and checking the bowl for color after a few minutes or before flushing. Replacing a worn rubber flapper is a quick, affordable fix.
  • Check the water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes at all, a leak is probably present.
  • Review your water bill. If a family of four uses more than 12,000 gallons per month during the winter, leaks are likely.
  • 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.

Introduced in 2006, WaterSense® is a partnership program sponsored by the U.S. EPA that makes it easy for Americans to save water and protect the environment by identifying water-efficient products, services and homes. The WaterSense® label can be found on toilets and bathroom faucets. Products that have earned the WaterSense® label have been independently tested to meet water-efficiency specifications set by the U.S. EPA. Visit www.epa.gov/watersense to find a WaterSense® labeled product in your area. For more information on Fix a Leak Week, visit www.epa.gov/watersense/fixaleak.