Fix a leak this week

Published 6:30 pm Saturday, March 14, 2015

A water leak can cause extensive damage, both to a home and a utility bill, if not resolved quickly.

The Suffolk Department of Public Utilities and are highlighting the need to address water leaks in the Environmental Protection Agency’s seventh annual “Fix a Leak Week,” being observed March 16-22.

Suffolk residents are encouraged to put a stop to running toilets, dripping faucets and other household leaks. In the average American household, leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of wasted water each year. That’s enough water to fill a backyard swimming pool.

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Suffolk Public Utilities and recommend implementing the simple “Check, Twist and Replace” test:

4Check 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 to see if it appears in the bowl before you flush. Don’t forget to check irrigation systems and outdoor spigots, too.

4Twist and tighten pipe connections. To save more water, without a noticeable difference in flow, twist on a WaterSense labeled faucet aerator or showerhead.

4Replace the fixture if necessary. Look for WaterSense labeled models, which are independently 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 or local plumbing professionals. For more information on finding and fixing leaks, please visit

In recognition of “Fix A Leak Week,” the Suffolk Public Utilities office, located at City Hall, 442 W. Washington St., will have free dye tablets and public awareness information available for citizens this week.

The website launched in 2011 and is the region-wide public awareness and education campaign administered through the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission.