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EPA Encourages Americans to Become Leak Detectives

Release Date: 03/14/2016
Contact Information: Michele Huitric, 415-972-3165, huitric.michele@epa.gov


WaterSense and its Partners Celebrate Fix a Leak Week March 14-20

SAN FRANCISCO—Each year, more than one trillion gallons of water are wasted by easy-to-fix household leaks, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program. That’s why U.S. EPA is encouraging consumers to “Be a Leak Detective” during WaterSense’s eighth annual Fix a Leak Week, March 14 through 20, 2016, by finding and fixing leaks around the home.

“Leaks don’t just rob your home of precious water, they could be adding 10 percent to your utility bill,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “By taking just 10 minutes to detect leaks at home, the average family could save more than 10,000 gallons of water per year.”

Becoming a leak detective can be accomplished in three simple steps: check, twist, and replace:
    Check for silent toilet leaks by putting a few drops of food coloring into the tank at the back of a toilet; wait 10 minutes before flushing, and if the color appears in the bowl, it’s a leak. Don’t forget to flush!
    Twist faucet, shower, and pipe connections tightly to avoid leaking a trail of water waste, or twist on a WaterSense labeled faucet aerator to save water and energy.
    Replace broken or leaky fixtures with WaterSense labeled models, which are independently certified to use at least 20 percent less water and perform as well or better than standard models.

To help consumers find and fix leaks, EPA WaterSense partners are sponsoring races, rebates, workshops, contests and other educational events across the Pacific Southwest. For example:
    For the entire month of March, the Sweetwater Authority in Chula Vista is offering a rebate of up to $75.00 to help cover the cost of repairing leaks.
    The Monte Vista Water District in Montclair is giving away goodie-bags filled with toilet tank leak detector tablets, and information on how to find and fix leaks.
    The City of Glendora is visiting every 5th grade class to teach kids how to be leak detectives. An additional 1,300 students will attend field trips and receive leak-detection kits. There will also be a Fix a Leak Week essay and art contest.
    On March 28th, The West Sacramento Public Works Department is hosting a Water Wise workshop to teach residents about leak detection.
    As part of the annual 5K St. Patrick’s Day parade, the City of Santa Rosa posts water-saving tips on the race course and encourages runners to chase a “Running Toilet.” Past the finish line, participants can stop by the water district’s booth to learn about water saving tips and rebates.
    The City of Roseville is hosting a Fix-a-Leak Week event at the Utility Exploration Center with hands-on demonstrations, and tips, tricks and tools to detect household leaks. Residents can also enter in daily raffles to win water-saving irrigation equipment.
    In Las Vegas, the Southern Nevada Water Authority will be hosting daily giveaways (flappers, shower heads, and aerators) and empowering residents to be leak detectives by providing educational material via newsletters, radio, and the web.

    The City of Phoenix is hosting a Be a Leak Detective contest, encouraging people to take pictures or film videos of leak detection in action. The pictures with the most likes/comments/shares during the month of March will receive a prize! There will also be educational displays at various locations.
    WaterSense partners in Chino Hills, Coachella, Rowland Heights, Palm Springs and Irvine are also hosting Fix a Leak Week activities.

    To learn more about detecting leaks or to find a Fix a Leak Week event in your community, visit www.epa.gov/watersense/fixaleak.
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