Yuma, Arizona (NAPSI) - It’s Fix a Leak Week time to join thousands of Americans who are chasing down running toilets and dripping faucets to save water and money.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense® program, household water leaks account for more than 1 trillion gallons of water wasted each year across the United States!

The average American home leaks more than 10,000 gallons of water per year, running up an extra 10 percent on water bills. Finding and fixing leaks doesn’t have to be difficult. Just remember three simple words—check, twist, replace—and you’ll be off and running to a water-saving home.

Check one of your winter water bills; for a family of four, using more than 12,000 gallons in a month might indicate a serious plumbing problem. To see if the culprit is a silent toilet leak, put a few drops of food coloring in the tank at the back of the toilet and wait 10 minutes before flushing to see if color shows up in the bowl. If you see color, you probably need a new toilet flapper, which is an easy repair to make. If you have a bigger leak on your hands, you can pass the baton to a trusted plumbing professional.

Twist and tighten pipe connections and reinforce leaky showerhead connectors with pipe tape. Or for just a few dollars, twist a WaterSense labeled aerator onto your bathroom faucets to use less water without a noticeable difference in flow. Replacing old, inefficient faucets and aerators with WaterSense labeled models can save the average family the amount of water needed to take 40 showers.

Replace the fixture if your easy fixes can’t stop the running or dripping. You can go the extra mile with new WaterSense labeled plumbing fixtures. Toilets, faucets and showerheads that earn the WaterSense label are independently certified to use at least 20 percent less water and perform as well or better than standard models. For example, WaterSense labeled showerheads can save the average family 2,900 gallons of water per year, the amount of energy it takes to power a home for 13 days, and $70 per year.

Some WaterSense partners are sponsoring “Chasing Leaks” community races to raise awareness of leak detection and repair. Even if you aren’t a runner, you can join the race to fix leaks and come away a big winner. Visit www.epa.gov/watersense/fixaleak for information.