WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that its WaterSense program is encouraging consumers to celebrate the seventh annual Fix a Leak Week, which began March 16 and will last through March 22, by finding and fixing water leaks in their homes, according to a press release.

More than one trillion gallons of water go down the drain each year due to household leaks, and leaks can increase a water bill by as much as 10 percent, stated the release.

“Annually, the average American family could be wasting more than 10,000 gallons of water — enough for 270 loads of laundry — due to easy-to-fix leaks,” reported the release.

WaterSense has helped consumers save a cumulative 757 billion gallons of water and more than $14.2 billion in energy and water bills since 2006, continued the release.

To reduce water waste, notes the release, check your water meter before and after a two-hour period of no water use; use a wrench to twist and tighten dripping pipes, fixtures or hoses; and replace old or inefficient fixtures that are not easily repaired.

“Fixing household leaks is not only an important way to conserve water, but it is a simple way that American families can reduce energy use and lower utility bills,” said EPA Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water Ken Kopocis.

Read the entire release here.