Join the Lake Champlain Committee in "Fix a Leak Week"!

The Lake Champlain Committee is joining with the EPA’s WaterSense Program to promote Fix a Leak Week – an opportunity for homeowners to find and fix residential leaks that waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water in America each year. Leaks can also account for more than 10,000 gallons of wasted water in an average home every year – enough to wash nearly 10 months’ worth of laundry. Conserving water saves money, saves energy, and helps reduce nutrient pollution in Lake Champlain.
Why is water conservation important even in the Lake Champlain watershed where water seems so 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 sewage treatment facility decreases when sewage is diluted by leaked tap water. Additionally, 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.  Of course, removal is not 100% efficient, so waste of water leads to additional phosphorus pollution.

Wasted water also means wasted energy, and this factor is probably even more significant than the extra phosphorus added to the lake. 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 run for 14 hours. Even a pin-hole size leak can waste 4,000 gallons a month!
To help save water for future generations, the Lake Champlain Committee is asking consumers and businesses to take time this week to improve water efficiency by finding and fixing leaks. 

   – Check for leaks. 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 and tighten pipe connections. To save more water without a noticeable difference in flow, twist on a WaterSense labeled faucet aerator.
   Replace the fixture if necessary. Replacing older, inefficient bathroom fixtures with WaterSense labeled toilets, faucets, and showerheads will save money in utility and electric bills and help the lake. WaterSense labeled models are independently tested and certified to use 20 percent less water and perform as well as or better than standard models.
In many cases, fixture replacement parts pay for themselves quickly and can be installed by handy do-it-yourselfers. For more complicated jobs, contact your favorite plumbing professional. Visit to find WaterSense labeled products in your area.
Check out the LCC website for additional water conservation tips