Gosh, there’s a week for everything. And this week, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, is “Fix a Leak Week” — a time to check your water bill in search of possible savings.

The EPA and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District say that if you use more than 12,000 gallons — or 1,600 cubic feet — of water a month during the winter, there’s a good chance you have a serious leak problem.

If you check your water bill from the City of Evanston you’ll see your usage stated in terms the number of 100 cubit feet you use every two months. So cut that number in half and compare it to the 1,600 cubic foot standard and you will have an idea of whether you should go hunting for leaks around your plumbing fixtures.

Another way to check if there is a leak is to check your water meter when no water is being used. If the meter is moving, chances are there is a leak; however, don’t be fooled by an active ice maker.

“Not only does reducing water waste help conservation efforts, but there is money to be saved when it comes time to paying your monthly bill,” said MWRD Executive Director David St. Pierre. “Everyone is looking for ways to stretch their budget. Taking a few minutes to check for leaks can result in big savings.”

Meanwhile, the City of Evanston is working with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning to create a Water Efficiency Program and is asking residents to take a survey about water supply and usage issues.

It’s part of efforts to implement the city’s Climate Action Plan.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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