water waste - water leaks

We Waste A Ridiculous Amount of Water Every Year – 1 Trillion Gallons

The drought in California is officially over! According to the Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska, California was experiencing a drought for 376 straight weeks. It’s the first time we’ve been declared drought-free since December 20, 2011. Snowpacks, along with heavy rains, have made a significant impact on our reservoirs. In San Diego County, reservoirs are at 65 percent of their capacity. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said, “This winter was the wettest in the United States as a whole dating back to 1895, and that was the beginning of the record keeping.”  While yes, many of us in California can take a big sigh of relief, let’s not go back to the old way of doing business. 

The Amount Of Water We Waste Is Staggering

As Americans, we waste a ridiculous amount of water, to the tune of one trillion gallons a year according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Let’s try to put that in layman terms, that would fill up 48 billion bathtubs, 80 million swimming pools, and the Rose Bowl 24,000 times. It’s also equal to the amount of water 11 million households would use annually. Furthermore, the wasted water we’re speaking of comes only from water leaks such as leaky bathroom and kitchen faucets, faulty toilets, leaky sprinklers, and much more. That did not include irresponsible water use, such as long showers, spraying down sidewalks, and driveways. 

10% Of Homes Waste 90 Gallon Of Water A Day

Our water waste goes unnoticed; if we don’t see a leak, we simply don’t think we have one. For many of us, we see a dripping faucet, showerhead or outdoor spigot and we don’t think much of it. The EPA stated that ten percent of all the homes in America waste 90 gallons of water a day, totaling one trillion gallons of water waste a year. The EPA said, “Leaks may cause a home to lose 10,000 gallons of water per year.” Many of our leaks go unnoticed because we can’t see them. As Californians, we can’t let our guard down because the drought is over, we must act responsibly, when it comes to water conservation.   

Easy Way To Check For Leaks

The U.S. Geological Survey provides the public with a simple tool that allows the calculation of water waste based on a leaky faucet or shower that drips. It will show you how fast water waste can add up. You can also take some proactive steps and run a “leak check” in your home

1. Turn off the water to your home from your meter.

2. Write down the reading from the meter.

3. Wait for 2 hours. 

4. You can periodically check the meter during those two hours. If it quickly moves, then the leak is significant; if the meter slightly moves during that time then you have a small leak.

5. With your meter still turned to “off,”  turn your irrigation system off (sprinkler system). 

6. Wait another 2 hours. Periodically check the meter. If the meter continues to move forward then your leak is in the home; if it stops then the leak is in your irrigation

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