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World Water Day Homework: Find a Leak!

March 22, 2010

From the desk of Ms. Green Quick Fixes

Most people have a vague understand of a water print, or water footprint, but the global water shortage is becoming so obvious that there’s even a developing Federal initiative to define water footprints this year.

Today on World Water Day, find inexpensive and easy-to-fix toilet leaks by placing 10 drops of colored dye in the tank. If after 10 minutes dye is in the bowl, check your flapper or flush valve. They may need to be replaced and the inexpensive parts are widely available.

According to the United States Geological Survey Web site, if slow leaks lose one gallon of water in 10 minutes, homeowners pay for 144 gallons per day, or 52,560 gallons per year. USGS claims that most American toilets have a constant leak of 22 gallons per day!

If you can find and fix a toilet leak today in honor of World Water Day, you will be making a difference, and you will likely notice a decrease in your bill as well.

Other Green Quick Fixes for saving water at home include:

  • Tighten or have tightened all plumbing where there are drips and slow leaks.
  • Install low-flow showerheads. Modern models have great pressure and save up to 22 gal. of water per five-minute shower—and their costs have really come down and their availability has increased.
  • Make washing larger laundry loads less frequently the rule of thumb in your household.
  • And finally, while most people turn off the faucet when brushing teeth, take the same care when scrubbing dishes in the kitchen sink. You could be wasting about a gallon per minute while hand washing dishes!

If you want to learn more about what you can do around your home to conserve water, reduce runoff, and capture and reuse rainwater, see the Ms. Green Quick Fixes’ Article Green Building Basics II: Roofs and Water Management. If you’d like more information about the global water shortage and related humanitarian crisis, go to the World Water Forum’s World Water Council Web site.

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