Drip. Drip. Drip.  Did you know that household leaks can waste nearly 1 trillion gallons annually nationwide? That’s equal to the annual household water use of nearly 11 million homes!  10 percent of households have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more a day. The average home’s leaks can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year or the amount of water needed to wash more than 300 loads of laundry.

Leaks are often easy to fix, requiring only a few tools and hardware that can pay for themselves in water savings. Fixing easily corrected household water leaks can save you up to 10 percent on your water bills, 10,000 gallons of water, or 10 months of laundry water.  Common types of leaks found in the home are worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves. To detect if there are leaks in your home, you must first determine if you are consuming water and then identify the source of the leak.  Common sources of leaks include:

A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste nearly 3,200 gallons per year. That’s the amount of water needed to take more than 180 showers!  If every home in the United States replaced existing faucets and aerators with WaterSense labeled models, we could save nearly $1.3 billion in water and energy costs. 

A showerhead leaking at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons per year. That’s the amount of water it takes to wash 60 loads of dishes in your dishwasher. Turn on your showerhead and look for drips or stray sprays that can be stopped with tape. It's also a good idea to check and, if needed, replace the washer or "o" ring inside the showerhead while making this repair.

Toilets are by far the main source of water use in the home, accounting for nearly 30 percent of an average home's indoor water consumption. In fact, a toilet that leaks half a cup of water per minute wastes 48 gallons of water per day!

Make sure to listen for silent leak, a common water-wasting culprit, by adding a few drops of food coloring to the toilet tank and waiting 10 minutes before flushing. If any color appears in the bowl during that time, your toilet has a leak.

Nip that drip!