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March 18, 2015

deppressoffice@dep.nyc.gov, (718) 595-6600

Department of Environmental Protection Announces Fix a Leak Week Outreach Events

In New York City a Running Toilet Can Cost a Homeowner up to $50 per day

Photos are Available on DEP’s Flickr Page

New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Emily Lloyd today announced that DEP will host a series of public outreach events this week at select Home Depot hardware stores around the city to educate New Yorkers about the high cost of residential water leaks and simple steps homeowners can take to detect leaks and repair them. The outreach events are being held in recognition of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Fix a Leak Week which is celebrated each March to remind Americans to check their household fixtures and irrigation systems for leaks. At DEP’s outreach events, staff will distribute literature along with leak detector dye tablets designed to quickly identify leaky toilets. In addition, DEP has created a brief public service announcement about detecting leaky toilets that can be viewed on YouTube.

“What many homeowners don’t know is that a small leak or running toilet can waste a lot of water and result in higher water bills,” said DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd. “The good news is that there are simple and inexpensive steps New Yorkers can take to detect and repair leaks before they lead to higher costs.”

Nationwide, household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water annually, equal to the annual water use of more than 11 million homes. Leaks are not only wasteful they can also be very expensive for homeowners. In New York City, a running toilet can waste between 30 and 4,000 gallons of water each day and cost homeowners up to $50 per day. Common types of leaks found in the home include worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves. All are easily correctable and making simple repairs can save homeowners on their water bills. For more tips on detecting leaks and making repairs click here.

DEP’s Fix a Leak Week events will be held at Home Depot’s at the below times and locations:

  • Wednesday, March 18, 3pm-7pm, 75-09 Woodhaven Blvd, Queens, NY
  • Wednesday, March 18, 3pm-7pm, 545 Targee Street, Staten Island, NY
  • Thursday, March 19, 3:30pm-7pm, 1806 Gun Hill Rd, Bronx, NY
  • Friday, March 20, 3pm-7pm, 5700 Avenue U, Brooklyn, NY

DEP has introduced a number of customer service initiatives aimed at helping New Yorkers manage their water use and bills and respond promptly to leaks. These programs include the completion of a network of Automated Meter Reading devices that ensure bills are based on actual consumption and that allow customers to access data about their water use in near real time and a leak notification system that has already saved customers more than $60 million. In addition, last year DEP extended its leak forgiveness program to include maintainable fixtures such as toilets and faucets to encourage homeowners to make timely repairs.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than nine million residents, including eight million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 in the upstate watershed.  In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with a planned $14 billion in investments over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year.  This capital program is responsible for critical projects like City Water Tunnel No. 3; the Staten Island Bluebelt program, an ecologically sound and cost-effective stormwater management system; the city’s Watershed Protection Program, which protects sensitive lands upstate near the city’s reservoirs in order to maintain their high water quality; and the installation of more than 820,000 Automated Meter Reading devices, which will allow customers to track their daily water use, more easily manage their accounts and be alerted to potential leaks on their properties. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

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