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Easy ways to reduce water waste in your home

Shower Tub with Hand Help Shower Head and Handle

A leaky faucet can be extremely annoying to homeowners - that pesky "drip, drip" can make you go crazy if all you want is a silent house and a good night's sleep. However, a neglected dripping faucet can also result in an unnecessarily hefty water bill at the end of the month.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average American household leaks up to 10,000 gallons of water a year, potentially accounting for hundreds of dollars on your monthly water bill. If you nip water waste in the bud, the cost of homeownership has the potential to shrink markedly.

If you have a leaky kitchen or bathroom faucet, you may simply need to replace the washer, which is one of the simplest tasks homeowners can undertake. Simply unscrew the base mouth of the faucet and take your washer to a local hardware store to match it.

Another easy solution is to simply replace older appliances in your home. An old shower head, for example, is much more likely to spring a leak than a new one. An eight-minute shower using a shower head manufactured before 1993 uses 24 to 64 gallons (90.8 to 242.3 L) of water. The same shower with a head built during the past two decades uses 20 gallons (75.7 L), and a low-flow shower head reduces the water usage to 12 gallons (45.4 L).

The toilet is the appliance in your house that wastes the most water. Older toilets could use as much as 5.28 gallons (20 L) of water with each flush, while modern toilets use 1.5 gallons (5.68 L) or less.