The WaterSense Current
Winter 2024 - Issue LVIII
The WaterSense Current is a quarterly update dedicated to news and events related to WaterSense. Sign up to receive The WaterSense Current and get WaterSense news delivered right to your Inbox.
In This Issue:
- Get a Head Start on the Race to Fix Leaks
- Beat the Winter Blues With Water Savings
- Adding WaterSense Labeled Homes to the Toolbox
- Niagara® Makes Water Savings Second Nature
- The Home Depot Is at Home in the Winner’s Circle
Did you know that, added up across the country, household leaks can waste nearly one trillion gallons of water every year? And whether it’s a silent toilet leak or an under-sink pipe drip, your home could be contributing to that leak statistic without you even realizing it! Common leaks inside the home are usually caused by a worn toilet flapper or loose pipe or fixture connections. Luckily, these are easy and quick for any homeowner to repair—and by doing so, you can save on your water bills.
Get a head start on water savings in advance of this year’s Fix a Leak Week, which takes place the third week of March, One way to see if you have leaks at home is to take a look at your water meter before and after a two-hour period. Be sure not to use any water during this time. If the meter changes at all, you probably have a leak. Become a leak detective and hunt down those pesky leaks in your home and stop them in their tracks.
A running toilet is a real waste. Many toilet leaks are silent and can easily go undetected. To check for silent leaks, place a drop of food coloring in the tank at the back of your toilet. If any color shows up in the toilet bowl within 10 minutes, there is a leak. Toilet leaks are commonly caused by a worn-out flapper that can be swapped out in no time. Check out this video to learn how! Other leaks can be traced to showerhead or pipe connections that can be fixed with pipe tape and a wrench. A leaky pipe that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year. That's the amount of water needed to take more than 180 showers!
To learn more ways to chase down and fix leaks, take the 10-Minute WaterSense Challenge and start saving. Try it out during Fix a Leak Week, March 18-24, or any time of year.
If your family is spending a lot of time at home this winter, you might be using a little more water than usual. More time at home doesn’t have to mean your water and sewer bills need to increase! There are many simple things you can do to save water at home and beat the winter water-waste blues.
First, consider incorporating easy, new habits to your everyday routine that can stack up the water savings. While brushing your teeth, washing your hands, and shaving, turn off the tap so the water is only running when you need it. If you are doing the dishes, scrape leftover food into the trash rather than rinsing them before loading the dishwasher. Only run the dishwasher when full—same goes for the clothes washer!
An even easier way to save water every day is to upgrade your plumbing fixtures. Swap out your old showerhead with a WaterSense labeled model and you could save 2,000 of gallons of water each year. If you are a looking to replace your toilet, opt for one that has earned the WaterSense label to save with every flush—that is nearly 13,000 gallons of water and $140 in water costs per year!
Ready to resolve to saving water at home all year long? Take the I’m for Water pledge and download the 2024 checklist of ways to save water each month once you make this your resolution for 2024 (link to come).
WaterSense labeled homes save significant amounts of water compared to typical new construction, making them a great strategic tool in areas that are battling drought and water supply concerns as their population grows. Land use planners, water district managers, and others looking to protect existing water resources without limiting growth can look to WaterSense labeled homes to maximize water efficiency and reduce the impact on existing water resources.
EPA’s pilot program in the Las Vegas area demonstrated that communities with limited water resources may be able to build more homes without major water infrastructure investments if they adopt WaterSense labeled homes—helping with housing density issues. For older, typical homes built in the region during the early 2000s, one acre-foot of water supplies enough water for every 2.5 homes for a year. However, the pilot found that this same amount of water can supply more than six WaterSense labeled homes!
WaterSense labeled homes use 30 percent less water than typical new construction. This is great for you and your utility bills, but also helps your community by reducing the impact on local water sources. If you are in the market for a new home, look for the WaterSense label.
Niagara® has earned its second Partner of the Year Award for manufacturing WaterSense labeled toilets, as well as promoting them widely to customers. Messaging about WaterSense and water efficiency has been a cornerstone of Niagara’s advertising, marketing, and public relations campaigns for more than 13 years. For example, Niagara works closely with industry organizations to promote WaterSense labeled products and program messaging through its continuing education courses.
For Fix a Leak Week, Niagara encouraged its more than 16,000 social media followers to upgrade plumbing fixtures to WaterSense labeled models and to use the WaterSense Rebate Finder. Niagara also reached professional customers by attending 26 trade shows in 2022, where staff promoted WaterSense at booths, in marketing collateral, and in conversations with attendees.
More than 100 wholesalers and plumbing distributors carry Niagara’s WaterSense labeled products across the United States and are educated about the product benefits through a training course that includes information about the WaterSense label and program. The company features a WaterSense page with labeled products on its corporate website, as well as on Niagara’s Pro website, and these pages describe Niagara’s dedication to and history with WaterSense.
No stranger to the winner’s circle, The Home Depot secured its third consecutive Partner of the Year Award in 2023. The Home Depot helps its customers save water by making over 6,000 WaterSense labeled product models affordable and accessible in more than 2,000 stores across the country. One hundred percent of the toilets, bathroom faucets, and showerheads sold in U.S. Home Depot stores were WaterSense labeled models.
To promote WaterSense labeled products to customers, the retailer highlighted WaterSense in their in-store marketing, online ad campaigns, direct-to-customer emails, and infographics on its website. In calendar year 2022, The Home Depot placed over 62 million print ads featuring WaterSense labeled products. The retailer estimates that its customers’ purchases of WaterSense labeled products during its 2022 fiscal year helped reduce annual water consumption by over 33 billion gallons, which would collectively mean savings of more than $686 million on water bills.
The Home Depot also offered several virtual workshops that highlighted WaterSense and their water-saving benefits in bathroom planning, kitchen planning, and installing facuets and toilets. Working with utilities, the retailer help make over 500 local rebates available, offered instant rebates at over 760 stores, and worked with the Texas government to promote tax-free weekends for both ENERGY STARÒ appliances and WaterSense labeled products.