Leaky Toilet Workshop

Posted: November 2, 2012

Fix your leaks, save water, save money!
Learning to fix a toilet

Learning to fix a toilet

In March, 22 people learned the benefits of conserving water in the home, courtesy of Extension Educator Dana Rizzo and Mimi Brooker of the Westmoreland Conservation District. Joining them in "The Leaky Toilet Workshop" held in Greensburg was local plumbing expert Richard Hamrock of Lowe's, along with Tony Quadro and Dan Griffith, also employees at Westmoreland Conservation District.

The need for water conservation is based on these startling national statistics: The average home loses approximately 10,000 gallons per year from leaks, which amounts to 1 trillion gallons wasted annually nationwide. These leaks results in higher water and sewage bills, as well as overloaded on-site septic and municipal sewage systems.

To help save water, Dana suggested attendees had two choices.  The first is to change habits, which is as simple as shutting off the water when brushing teeth or shaving, or shortening showers. "It's easier said than done," she admitted. So she presented a second    option: buying water-saving appliances. "Installing a low-flow shower head or toilet are two easy choices, as well as buying the most efficient clothes- and dishwashers when your existing appliances are wearing out," she advised. "You'll not only use less water in the most efficient models, you'll save energy because less water requires less electricity to heat, and new washers wring more moisture out of clothes, requiring less time in the dryer."

And to address water loss, Richard demonstrated how to fix leaks in household fixtures such as faucets and toilets. Fixtures were either lent from Lowe's or purchased from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore using in-kind funds. The participants were able to practice repairing the "guts" of fixtures in small groups with Richard as well as with Tony and Dan. Participants received packets with fact sheets on water conservation as well as shower timers, literature and leak-detection dye tablets for their toilets donated by the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County.Partial funding for the seminar was provided by a PA DEP Environmental Education Grant.