• Youth Energy Squad

Water Leak Scavenger Hunt Age Group: 3-8 grades

Context:

Changing your household’s water use helps to lower your water bill and your environmental impact. Reducing leaks is a simple way to reduce water waste and save money! This is a fun way for students to reduce water waste and learn more about home water usage.

Check out this video to learn more about common household water leaks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Efow6RI02og.

Goals:

  • Reduce water use and lower water bills

  • Learn more about home water usage

Optional Supplies: Time: 30-45 minutes

  • Timer

  • Duct tape

  • Food dye or powdered drink packets.




Instructions:

  1. First, identify potential sources of leaks!

  • Bathroom and kitchen sinks

  • Shower heads

  • Toilet tanks

  • Clothes Washer connection (see image below)


  1. Identify potential sources of leaks, continued:

  • Dishwasher

  • Outside faucets

  • Hot water heater & other basement piping

  1. Regardless of where you start, be sure to check surrounding areas and pipes.

  • Examples include:

  • Check the pipe under the sink for drips after checking the faucet

  • Look for water or stains at the base of the hot water heater

  • Check for water or stains on the floor at the base of the dishwasher

  1. Estimating water waste:

  • Once a leak is found, count the number of drips per minute using the timer.

  • Record your drip counts, then find your total water wasted using this chart:



Source: EPA

  1. OPTIONAL: Taping leaking pipes with a parent or guardian

  • If you find leaks in pipes under the sink or in your basement, you can do a quick fix by using duct tape to tape over the leak until the leak can be properly fixed.

  1. Checking your toilet for leaks (as these are especially wasteful)

  • Remove the cover to the toilet tank and add food dye or colored powdered drink packets

  • Replace the cover and wait 30 minutes. DO NOT flush the toilet.

  • After 30 minutes, check the toilet bowl for the dye or colored powder.

  • If the colored water has moved from the tank to the bowl, check the flapper in the bowl as it may not be sealing correctly and could need to be replaced.

Reflection Questions:

  • Why is it important to not waste water?

  • What other small steps can we take to save water?

  • Turn off the water when brushing your teeth.

  • Turn off the water when washing dishes by hand.

  • Showering for 1-2 minutes less per shower can save up to 150 gallons of water per month.

Sources:

Payzon, AZ Water Department

wateruseitwisely.com

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