2011 44¢ Fix Water Leaks
Issue Date: April 14, 2011
City: Washington, DC
Printed By: Avery Dennison
Printing Method: Photogravure
The still of the night is disrupted by the sound that drives people crazy when they are trying to sleep: Drip…drip…drip… The faucet sounds like a ticking clock, leaving the sleepless wincing at each inevitable drip. But leaky faucets are much more than an annoyance; they are also the sound of money going down the drain and the waste of clean water.
A typical drop of water doesn’t seem like much, as the average size from a sink faucet is about a quarter of a milliliter (bigger in bathtub leaks). Yet when it appears at a drop per second, hour after hour, day after day…the amount of water can be impressive. That adds up to over 86,000 drops, or more than five gallons per day per faucet.
Leaks have greater costs than a good night’s rest and inflated water bill. An estimated 14% of private U.S. water consumption is wasted by leaky faucets. That is water which communities must pay to filter, sanitize, and transport. In areas with low supplies of water, the impact is much more meaningful. Leaks can also be a sign of plumbing problems elsewhere that can result in damage to our homes.
So while that one tiny drop of water may not seem like much, it can mean a loss of over eight tons of water each year. And that is something that might really keep people up at night.