Water can be expensive, so it makes sense to save money where you can. There are more than a few culprits when it comes to increasing your water bill, so taking a little time to ensure everything is working correctly will keep those bills down. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average amount of leaks in a house can account for more than 10,000 gallons of wasted water each year. This is the same amount of water needed to wash over 270 loads of laundry (1).
Many homes suffer from the same leaky areas and fixtures. Faucets, toilets, and valves are all likely to leak, but all of them are easy to fix. When you see a faucet dripping, chances are you have an O-ring that is going bad. These are inexpensive and can be found at any home improvement store. Toilet leaks typically occur because the flapper valve has gone out. These are the black or white rubber valves in the tank of the toilet that stop the water from flowing into the toilet bowl after it has finished flushing. If you think you may have a leak there, put about 10 drops of food coloring in the tank and watch the toilet bowl for several minutes. If there is a leak, you will see the color begin to drain into the toilet.
Other ways to save are: don’t flush items like tissue (use the trash), wash a full load of laundry or dishes, install low flow shower heads, and sweep the driveway instead of using the hose to wash it off. As you begin to pay attention to these things, you will gradually see your water bill begin to lower each month.