A leaky faucet is obnoxious for more than one reason. It is incessant, it represents a problem that will probably only grow worse, and it can cost you money on your water bill. Beyond all of that, it wastes a lot of water, putting undue stress on the environment. But, how much water does a leaky faucet actually waste? It may not seem like much, but when added up over a period of time, that leaky faucet’s impact can be fairly substantial.
Okay, so a single drip every couple seconds may not seem like a lot of water. But, think about it this way. If you let your faucet drip every day, twenty four hours a day, it is definitely going to add up. Imagine what would happen if every faucet in your home was dripping or every faucet in your neighbourhood. It would not seem like such a small amount of water anymore.
In terms of how much water is actually wasted, it is impossible to tell for certain. After all, every drop of water from a faucet is a different size and falls at a different rate. But, for the most part the water coming from a faucet (according to the US Geological Survey) is between 1/5 and 1/3 of one milliliter. Using those calculations and 1/4 of a milliliter as an average, the USGS estimates that roughly 15,140 drips from a faucet equals one gallon of water.
It may not seem like much. After all, fifteen thousand drops is a LOT of drops. But, if your faucet dripped once every second every day, all day, it would only take four and a half hours to reach one gallon. Every day you would waste 5 gallons of water or 2,082 gallons per year. That is 10% of the average water used by a standard 3.5 gpf toilet on a daily basis. Now, imagine what happens if you have more than one drippy faucet, or if your bathtub leaks which will drip more water at a time or if the leak is larger than the average size.
In short, the cost of a leaky faucet may not seem like much, but as time passes, it can really add up and if it is not taken care of, the cost will only grow as the leak gets bigger and potentially new leaks start in other faucets of your home. Do not let it drip forever – take action now and cut down on the environmental impact you have, as well as your bill.