Chesterton Tribune


Fix plumbing leaks to save money on water bill

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Indiana America Water Company (IAWC), in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is promoting the fifth annual Fix a Leak Week, March 18-24.

According to a statement released on Wednesday, the national awareness campaign, part of the EPA’s WaterSense program, is designed to raise awareness about small leaks and other water waste which may be occurring within homes.

“Considering there are more than 110 million households in this country, a seemingly minor leaky faucet or running toilet collectively results in a tremendous amount of wasted water—more than a trillion gallons of water are lost annually nationwide through leaks occurring within our homes, with average residence losing 11,000 gallons a year this way,” IAWC said. “However, through initiatives like Fix a Leak Week, local companies like Indiana American Water, are hoping to significantly reduce that amount.”

The EPA first created the Fix a Leak Week designation five years ago to remind Americans to check household plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems for leaks. Since that time, the threat of water shortages in various communities across the country has increased, reinforcing the need for wise water use by homeowners and the nation as a whole.

“At Indiana American Water, we have made significant investments in the communities we serve across the state to maintain and upgrade our pipes, as well as detect and fix leaks, so that we can continue to provide reliable water to the 1.2 million people we serve every day,” IAWC President Alan DeBoy said. “We encourage our customers to check for and repair leaks in their homes in a timely manner as a way to reduce their water bills at home and ensure a more sustainable supply for all.”

“Considering that leaks as small as an eighth of an inch can consume up to 3,500 gallons of water per day, being proactive in checking for leaks, and fixing them in a timely manner, not only makes you a more environmentally conscious consumer of one of the world’s most valuable resources, but also saves money on your monthly water bill,” DeBoy added.

IAWC recommends using the following tips to help detect and repair leaks:

•Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes at all, you probably have a leak.

•Check your toilet for leaks by inserting a few drops of food coloring in the tank. Wait 15 minutes. If food coloring appears in the toilet bowl, you have a leak. Leaky toilets are most often the result of a worn toilet flapper. Replacing the rubber flapper is a quick fix that could save a home up to 200 gallons of water per day.

•For a leaky garden hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench.

•Tighten connections on your showerheads if drips appear when the shower is off.

•Regularly check your toilet, faucets, and pipes for leaks. Indiana American Water offers leak detection kits, which can be downloaded at

If homeowners must replace a plumbing fixture, the EPA reminds them to look for the WaterSense label. Toilets and faucets with the WaterSense label have been independently tested and certified to save water and perform as well as or better than standard models. For more information on Fix a Leak Week, visit



Posted 3/21/2013