Nearly 1,000,000,000,000 gallons of water are wasted due to leaks in American homes each year.* That’s right, nearly one trillion gallons. A one with 12 zeros behind it. That equals the annual household water use of more than 11 million homes. It means a valuable natural resource is being wasted, and it’s preventable. Leaks can run, but they can’t hide. And that provides an opportunity for customers to save money by fixing water leaks in their homes.
Sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense® program, Fix a Leak Week is March 15-21, 2021, and the City’s Water Management Department encourages residents to find and fix residential leaks with a series of fun activities and helpful tips.
“Leaks can waste more than 10,000 gallons of water in an average home every year—the amount of water it takes to wash 300 loads of laundry,” said James Lim, Water Efficiency and Conservation Program Manager. “As a WaterSense partner, we are hosting a number of virtual opportunities during Fix a Leak Week, including three virtual workshops that are free to the public.”
Fix a Leak Week Workshops (FREE to the public):
- Tuesday, March 16, 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- Thursday, March 18, Noon to 12:30 p.m.
- Saturday, March 20, 11:30 a.m. to Noon
To register for these free virtual workshops, visit: https://durhamnc.gov/FormCenter/Water-Management-16/Fix-a-Leak-Week-2021-Virtual-Workshop-Re-264
Virtual Scavenger Hunt
In addition to the workshops, the Department is hosting a fun and easy scavenger hunt beginning March 15 on its website. Participants of all ages can enjoy a quick and educational quest, and City of Durham water customers that complete the scavenger hunt will be awarded prizes (limited to the first 150). The scavenger hunt will begin March 15 and run through March 21, starting from durhamsaveswater.org.
Check, Twist, and Replace
To save water, energy, and also to lower your water bills, customers should check, twist, and replace:
- Check for leaks. Look for dripping faucets, showerheads, sprinklers, and other fixtures. Check toilets for silent leaks by adding a few drops of food coloring into the tank and then waiting 10 minutes to see if the color appears in the bowl before you flush. Be sure to check irrigation systems and spigots too.
- Twist and tighten hose and pipe connections. Twist on a WaterSense labeled faucet aerator and you’ll save water and still have adequate water pressure for brushing teeth and washing hands.
- Replace the fixture if necessary. WaterSense labeled models are independently certified to use 20% less water and perform as well as or better than standard models. These items are included in the Water Efficiency Kits available at Durham City Hall for only $3!
In many cases, replacement parts pay for themselves quickly and can be installed by the homeowner or a local plumbing professional. Irrigation professionals certified through a WaterSense labeled program can also check your systems for leaks. Visit www.epa.gov/watersense to find WaterSense labeled products or an auditor in your area.
For more information about the events or additional conservation tips, the City’s water customers can call (919) 560-4381, e-mail [email protected] or visit DurhamSavesWater.org.
March 11, 2021 is World Plumbing Day!
About the Durham Water Management Department
Durham Water Management is responsible for the operation and maintenance of Durham's water supply, water treatment and water reclamation (wastewater treatment) facilities, the collection and distribution systems (including meter reading), and customer billing services. The department has a wide variety of support divisions and programs to maintain the existing infrastructure that provide these integral services, and strives to be a responsible steward of the City’s physical assets. For information, visit http://durhamnc.gov/944/, like Durham Saves Water on Facebook, and follow @DurhamWater on Twitter.
*Statistic comes from the EPA’s WaterSense website: Fix a Leak Week | WaterSense | US EPA