Join LCC in "Fix a Leak Week" and help protect the lake!
LCC is partnering with EPA’s WaterSense Program to promote water conservation. Save water, energy and money by finding and fixing leaks at your home and workplace as part of national Fix a Leak Week, March 18 – 24. Leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water loss in an average home every year—enough water to wash nearly ten months’ worth of laundry or fill a backyard swimming pool!
Why is water conservation important even in places like the Champlain watershed where water seems abundant? Wasting water can contribute to lake pollution. Sewage treatment facilities remove phosphorus pollution from the water that leaves our homes. However, the efficiency of pollution removal at the treatment facility decreases when sewage is diluted by leaked tap water. Furthermore, municipal drinking water systems often add a phosphorus containing compound to drinking water to prevent lead from leaching from old pipes. This compound must then be removed from wastewater before it enters Lake Champlain. Since removal is not 100% efficient, wasting water leads to additional phosphorus pollution.
Wasted water also means wasted energy. Water must be pumped from its source, often Lake Champlain, to its end use in houses, apartments, businesses, and institutions. Moving water to where it will be used is a highly energy intensive process. Letting a faucet run for five minutes uses about as much energy as letting a 60-watt light bulb on for 14 hours.
To help save water, the Lake Champlain Committee asks consumers to check, twist, and replace:
- Check for leaks. Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, you probably have a leak. Look for dripping faucets, showerheads, and fixture connections. Also check for toilets with silent leaks by putting a few drops of food coloring into the tank and seeing if it appears in the bowl before you flush.
- Twist on an aerator and tighten pipe connections. Faucets account for more than 15% of indoor household water use. To save more water without a noticeable difference in flow, twist on a WaterSense labeled faucet aerator. They cost just a few dollars at the hardware store and can save a household more than 500 gallons of water each year – enough to do 14 loads of laundry!
- Replace fixtures if necessary. Look for WaterSense labeled models, which are independently tested and certified to use 20% less water and perform as well as or better than standard models. Fixture replacement parts often pay for themselves, and they can be installed quickly by a handy do-it-yourselfer or plumbing professional.