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ICC reminds water consumers March 18-24 is Fix-a-Leak Week

The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) is encouraging Illinoisans to check their household plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems for leaks as a part of national Fix-a-Leak Week this March 18-24. Approximately 1 trillion gallons of water are wasted in the United States each year due to leaks, but inexpensive fixes can help consumers to conserve water and save money.

“The average American household loses more than 10,000 gallons of water each year from leaking faucets, running toilets, and dripping showerheads. That’s enough to fill a swimming pool,” said ICC Chairman Doug Scott. “Fix-a-Leak Week reminds consumers to find and fix leaks that with minor fixes, can conserve water and save consumers up to 10 percent on their utility bills.”

EPA’s WaterSense® program has several tips to help detect and fix leaks:

  • Look at your cold weather month water bills. You likely have a serious leak if your water usage exceeds 12,000 gallons in one month for a family of four or less or you see spikes on your water bill from previous months.
  • Read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. Any changes to the meter mean you have a leak.
  • Place a few drops of food coloring into the tank of your toilet. If after ten minutes the color shows up in the bowl, you have a leak.
  • Replace old and worn-out toilet flappers to stop a running toilet.
  • Make sure there is a tight connection between your shower head and pipe stem to stop leaks. Pipe tape or Teflon tape, which can be purchased at hardware stores, is easy to apply to control minor leaks. For serious shower head leaks, contact a licensed plumber.
  • Replace worn-out faucet washers and gaskets to stop faucet leaks. Be sure to turn off the water line before starting repairs.

Uncertain about how to do the work on your own? There are several online tutorials to help fix minor leaks or call a licensed plumber or experienced handyman.

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For more tips on how to find and fix indoor and outdoor leaks for homes and businesses visit the EPA’s website. Follow the Illinois Commerce Commission on social media @ILCommerceComm

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