In many parts of the world, drainage infrastructure is ageing badly. Original pipe manufacturers only made their pipes to last perhaps thirty years at most. As time marches on, however, those pipes are having to work much longer than the original manufacturers intended, and its creating chaos.
In Britain, for instance, the environment agency over there has organized what it is rather humorously calling a “crack squad” to seek out leaky pipes in the nation’s capital, so London doesn’t run out of water. If Brits can’t get on top of all the leaks in their infrastructure, the city could literally run out of water. Big water companies over there have already received fines running into millions of dollars, but the problem persists.
The environmental costs of leaky pipes are enormous. According to the EPA, around 1 trillion gallons of water are wasted by households every year, with a big chunk of that figure coming from undiagnosed leaks.
So what’s the solution? What can people do to help solve this problem?
Checking For Leaks
The first step is to check for leaks. Leaks can result in the loss of more than 90 gallons of water per day. If the holes are close to your foundations, they can seep into the brickwork, compromising their strength and leading subsidence.
But how does an amateur like you find out if you leak? Take a look at some of these ideas:
- Look at your water bill during the coldest months of the year when the ground is frozen solid. If your bills suddenly go down without any accompanying change in your behaviour, then it’s a sign that you’ve got a serious leak on your hands.
- Turn off all faucets and stop using all water-consuming appliances in your home. Then wait for a couple of hours and see whether your water meter moves. If it does, then it could indicate a leak elsewhere in your system.
- Check for unexplained dampness around your property, or get a professional outfit such as DrainWorks Plumbing to do it for you. If you notice wet patches of grass outside your home at the end of a long, dry summer, a leak is the most likely culprit.
The Cost Of Leaky Pipes
Most people want to do everything that they can to resolve leaky pipes and take the necessary action in their homes that they need so that they can fix the problem. Homeowners, however, aren’t in the clear. Data suggest that collectively, we waste more than a third of all water that we draw from the natural environment, representing a massive waste of energy. It’s a problem that we need to tackle together.
Better use of water is something that communities across the world must strive for if climate targets are to be met. Sourcing water from the natural world is not energy-free. It requires a lot of CO2 emissions right now to get it to consumers. Thus, we need a more efficient and robust system. Ultimately, though, a lot of power to fix this mess rests with private individuals.