How leaking faucets cost real money in wasted water:
Do you know how much money a leaking faucet will cost you? You can find out. Of course it will depend on the cost of your water, which you can also find out. A search on the web will lead you to a number of water leak calculators. Knowing the volume and the cost as well, you will arrive at the real cost.
I used one such calculator, provided by a Georgia government agency. I told the calculator that I had three faucets dripping at a rate of one drip per second. I was all a lie, of course. I have no drips and would fix one as soon as I found it. But here’s what the drip counter said. If the above conditions were true, I would be wasting:
259,200 drips per day;
which would be 64 liters per day;
which is also 17 gallons per day;
which would be 6,248 gallons per year;
and those gallons of water could provide 124 baths per year.
Not being satisfied with these statistics, I opened the default calculator program on my computer and calculated that such a volume of water would flush an old-school toilet about 1,800 times, or one of those new ones that don’t work all that great about 3,000 times or more. That’s a lot of flushes.
This how-much calculating is fun. Try it for yourself. Here are some average water use per event numbers. These vary, of course, according to type of device used and other factors.
But just for fun:
A shower uses about 2 gallons per minute. A bath may use 50 gallons or more. Tooth brushing uses about 1 gallon of water. Washing of hands uses 1 gallon. Shaving takes about 1 gallon. A dishwasher needs 20 gallons per load, while hand-washing dishes requires 5 gallons. A clothes washing machine averages 10 gallons per load. You can do your own calculations to figure how many showers, clothes washings, and so forth that your leaky sink may be costing you.
Another cost to consider is the damage the leak may do. Water running down the drain is pennies wasted. Water leaking onto the floor or into the walls may cause thousands of dollars in damages.
In addition, there is the cost to the community to maintain facilities to provide the water. Out of all the water cost calculators that I found, none took into account the cost to citizens to provide and maintain water facilities. That cost I have no way of adding in at this time.
I will briefly state that a person of sound environmental conscience might also consider the needs of wildlife when contemplating water wastage. A deer, I am told, needs from less than one gallon of water a day up to eight gallons or more, depending on climate and other factors. If the thought of thirsty deer doesn’t bother you, how about a dry steak? Cattle need lots of water, each requiring up to twenty gallons or more a day, depending again on climate and other factors. Think about it.
And if you do get worked up about the constant drip, drip, drip, or are stricken with conscience pangs about wildlife wasting away, or if you are planning a barbecue and want a drippingly juicy mouth-watering steak, what should you do? You can attempt to fix it yourself. If you have tools and talent, that might be the easy way to go. If you are not gifted in the home-improvement arena, or just don’t want to do it yourself, you could call a plumber. It shouldn’t cost all that much, and you will be blessed with peace and a clear conscience.
All right, now we get down to the penny pinching. How much does that drip cost you, in real dollars? Ok, remember, it varies with your cost for water, which varies with location. It’s not that simple. But, since I know you won’t be satisfied without a dollar figure, here’s a guesstimate.
Using the Georgia water calculator, and expensive California water, those three dripping faucets might cost you three-hundred dollars or so per year. Or that would be about one-hundred dollars per faucet. If you live on cheaper water, it could be much less.
So the cost isn’t really in the pennies. It’s in the potential for damage and the annoying sound of drip, drip, drip. Add to that the weight of a conscience burdened by the thought of deer with tongues hanging out, panting for water, or juicy steers loosing valuable moisture content. Now you have enough reasons to fix that leak or get it fixed by a pro. Then pat yourself on the back, take a nice shower, and go enjoy that steak with a clear conscience.