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California American Water partners with EPA for 'Fix a Leak Week'

Posted: March 11, 2010 3:31 p.m.
Updated: March 12, 2010 3:28 p.m.
SACRAMENTO, CA - California American Water has partnered with the Environmental Protection Agency to promote its annual "Fix a Leak Week," which runs from March 15-21.

The campaign, part of the EPA's WaterSense program, is designed to raise awareness about small leaks and other water waste that may be occurring within our homes. Although a leaky faucet or garden hose may seem like a small problem to the individual homeowner, in aggregate these seemingly minor leaks add up to a colossal amount of wasted water when considering there are more than 110 million households in the United States.

The EPA estimates that more than a trillion gallons of water are lost annually nationwide through leaks occurring within our homes, with average residence losing 11,000 gallons a year this way. However, through the "Fix a Leak Week" campaign in partnership with local water purveyors like California American Water, we are hoping to significantly reduce that number.

The federal effort to reduce residential water waste is particularly important in California, which is facing its fourth consecutive year of drought.

"The drought we have experienced in the last three years continues to impact water resources," said California American Water General Manager Andy Soule. "However, the good news is we can significantly reduce our water waste through some very simple and inexpensive repairs at home. California American Water has made great strides in educating customers on residential water conservation and ‘Fix a Leak Week' is just one tool in our varied and comprehensive campaign to rid our districts of water waste."

California American Water also offers several ways for homeowners to identify and repair dripping faucets, running toilets and leaky showerheads. In many cases, fixture replacement parts can be installed by the customer and often pay for themselves quickly. Some of those tips include:

-- Leaky toilets are most often the result of a worn toilet flapper. Replacing the rubber flapper is a quick fix that could save a home up to 200 gallons of water per day.

-- Reduce faucet leaks by checking faucet washers and gaskets for wear and, if necessary, replace the faucet with a WaterSense-labeled model.

-- For a leaky garden hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench.

-- Landscape irrigation systems should be checked each spring before use to make sure they were not damaged over the winter.

In addition to these steps, California American Water, a longtime partner with the WaterSense program, and other area water districts offer a variety of programs, incentives and rebates to help customers reduce their water use.

Most districts offer free conservation kits with tools like toilet leak detection kits, low flow showerheads and garden hose nozzles and information about drought tolerant gardening. Replace a toilet installed before 1992 and save four gallons or more a flush; water efficient clothes washers use up to 50 percent less water than standard models; rebates of $100 or greater are available for both items.

Another program for California American Water customers is the WaterWise home survey, where a water conservation specialist visits a customer's home free of charge to help inspect irrigation systems, bathrooms and kitchens for leaks and provide tips on ways to improve the home's water efficiency.

If homeowners have to replace a plumbing fixture, EPA reminds them to look for the WaterSense label. WaterSense-labeled toilets and faucets have been independently tested and certified to save water and perform as well as or better than standard models.

About California American Water
California American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), provides high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 600,000 people.

Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to approximately 16 million people in 35 states, as well as Ontario and Manitoba, Canada.

This story is posted in The Signal's SCV Raw section. Click here for more information about SCV Raw.


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