EPA Fix a Leak Week, Code Council Green Code Work to Conserve Water
It is said that we will run out of freshwater before we run out of oil. Although this life-sustaining element covers most of our planet, only three percent is freshwater and most of that is ice. This means that less than 0.007% of all water on Earth is available to drink. With populations growing exponentially, there will be an ever-greater demand for water for drinking, agriculture and other uses.
So, what can you do about it? You can do more than you might think. Of course, you can take shorter showers, not leave the water running while brushing teeth or shaving, and not water your yard more than is needed or right after it has rained. But one of the most impactful, yet simple and non life-altering changes is to ensure any water leaks in your home or business are fixed. This not only relates to dripping faucets in the home, but also leaks from garden hoses and toilets that have slow leaks. If you hear running water in the house when no one is using it, a leaky toilet is the likely culprit.
Many of us know these leaks should be fixed, but just don’t get around to them. Fathom this: if all of the leaky faucets in the United States were fixed, it could save more than a trillion gallons of water each year, or the water supply for Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami combined. The adage ‘every little bit helps’ certainly resonates with that statistic.
To encourage Americans to improve household water efficiency, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense program is conducting its second annual “Fix a Leak Week.” March 15-21 our national authority on the environment will promote how something as simple as fixing a leak can save such huge amounts water. Environmental groups, schools and other organizations will be conducting activities or otherwise supporting this very important event, including the International Code Council, the nation’s leader in building safety, fire prevention and energy efficiency codes.
EPA’s WaterSense program is dedicated exclusively to water efficiency efforts. Programs like Fix a Leak Week and partnerships with various water- or plumbing-related organizations help businesses and communities save millions upon millions of gallons of water each year.
The ICC Plumbing, Mechanical and Fuel Gas (PMG) Group and other plumbing professionals are helping the EPA to spread the word about these huge amounts of water that can be saved each year just by taking a few simple steps. Aside from supporting the EPA’s Fix a Leak Week, the Code Council also is leading the way to greater water conservation at the same time. In fact, March 15 wasn’t only the first day of Fix a Leak Week, but it was also the day the Code Council released the new International Green Construction Code (IGCC) Public Version 1.0.
Although the Council has offered construction codes that provide sustainable building solutions for years, the IGCC is dedicated exclusively to green building practices. It is the most comprehensive and effective code for many sustainable design applications, including alternative water sources such as graywater, rainwater and reclaimed water. This is important, not just for regions struggling with limited water supplies, but to offset possible water shortages in the future, even in areas where this has never been an issue.
To learn more about the EPA’s Fix a Leak Week and ways your business, school, organization or community can help, visit the EPA WaterSense web page (www.epa.gov/watersense). The WaterSense program and site offer a tremendous range of suggestions on ways to save water and even money from practicing greater water efficiency in the home and otherwise. Although this week is designated Fix a Leak Week, everyone should make water conservation part of their everyday activities all year long.
The International Code Council publishes building safety, energy efficiency and fire prevention codes that are used in the construction of residential and commercial buildings. Most U.S. cities, counties and states choose the I-Codes based on their outstanding quality. The ICC’s Plumbing, Mechanical and Fuel Gas (PMG) Group is devoted exclusively to providing PMG products and support to jurisdictions and construction industry professionals across the country and around the globe, with one or more PMG code adopted in 49 states. The more than 200 superior products and related services were developed specifically by and for plumbing and mechanical professionals. Contact the PMG Group for additional information at 1-888-ICC-SAFE (422-7233), ext. 4PMG, or visit www.iccsafe.org.