This week’s blog post is from Laurie Loftin, who has never found the end of a rainbow.
Most everyone knows the legend. Reach the end of a rainbow and you find a pot of gold for the taking. Of course, nothing is quite this easy. You must sneak past the tricky leprechaun left to guard the gold. These little guys don’t want their treasure taken away. As soon as you are spotted, they vanish with the pot of gold.
I propose an easier way to discover a hidden pot of gold. You see this pot every day. No, it isn’t at the end of a rainbow, though it is often at an end. Your tail end. I am talking about a potty. A potty o’ gold.
When was the last time you checked your potty for a leak? A toilet leak can come in many forms. It can be a constant and annoying running of the commode. Maybe you hear what is known as a “phantom flush,” when your toilet refills itself as if it has been flushed. Or perhaps you have the sneakiest leak of all – the silent leak.
No matter what type of toilet leak you have, you need to get it fixed. And the sooner the better. A running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water a day. This water loss has a very noticeable and painful effect on your water bill.
Let me give you the best case scenario for the impact a running toilet has on your wallet. Your loo is leaking 200 gallons of water a day. As it tends to do, life gets in the way and you put off fixing your running toilet for a month. After 30 days you have let 6,000 gallons of clean, treated water wash away.
We have a tiered billing system in Athens-Clarke County. In this pricing system, water used within the first tier is the least expensive. As water use increases and passes the limits of the first tier, the additional water use is charged at a higher rate.
IF your water use stays within Tier 1, the month-long 200 gallons a day toilet leak would add $24 to your water bill. Here is the math:
ACC Tier 1 cost for 1 gallon of water = $.004
$.004 per gallon x 200 gallons = $.80 a day
$.80 a day x 30 days in a month = $24 extra on your water bill
Again, $24 is the best case scenario. If you are using an extra 6,000 gallons of water a month, you are more than likely going to find yourself splashing around in higher tiers. Here is the math for a worse case scenario:
ACC Tier 4 cost for 1 gallon of water = $.01
$.01 per gallon x 200 gallons = $2.00 a day
$2.00 a day x 30 days in a month = $60.00 extra on your water bill
The week of March 16-22, 2015 is Fix a Leak Week. Promoted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program, the week is a reminder to check your plumbing and irrigation systems for leaks. “Ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day,” according to WaterSense.
Take some time during Fix a Leak Week to find and fix any leaks, including toilet leaks, in your home. You won’t have a rainbow leading you to your leaky toilet, but there are many videos online that show you how to locate and fix leaks. The best news is there shouldn’t be any pesky leprechauns lurking about in your bathroom to prevent you from finding your own potty o’ gold.