If you have had a slow leak — drip, drip, drip — for any length of time, you may have just gotten used to it and no longer think much of it. We have all had that faucet that drips or even had a steady trickle, the toilet that doesn’t seem to want to stop running, or the sprinkler head that just wants to keep watering your lawn. These minor inconveniences may seem like just annoyances, but there are a few things you should know that may shock you.

1. A slow drip leak can waste more than 90 gallons of water each day.

When a faucet is drip, drip, dripping, it can be hard to imagine exactly how much water is being wasted. Imagine your gallon of milk in the refrigerator and trying to shove an additional 89 of those in your fridge. That’s how much water is dripping each day. When you put it into perspective, however, 90 gallons a day is just under 33,000 gallons each year — that is enough to fill 82 hot tubs!

2. One trillion gallons of water is wasted per year in household leaks.

One trillion gallons of water a year is wasted in household leaks! That means one trillion gallons — 1,000,000,000 — of water is paid for by American homeowners that goes completely unused. To attempt to visualize just how much water that is, it is enough to fill 40 million swimming pools, 24 billion bathtubs, or to allow 11 million American homes to use water regularly for an entire year. Each day, the sun evaporates one trillion gallons of water off of the entire world’s surface. That is a lot of water!

If you are environmentally conscious, it may come as a real shock that the 10 percent of American homes that currently have slow leaks waste more than 34 billion gallons of viable drinking water every day. For those hoping to help the world’s drinking water crisis may want to start by encouraging their neighbors to fix their leaky pipes!

3. Leaking hot water wastes even more than cold.

When your hot water heater or hot water line springs a leak, even a slow one, not only is the water wasted, but it can cause 48 kw/hrs of electricity a month to be wasted. Even if you aren’t concerned about the wasted energy usage in terms of environmental consciousness, you will certainly be concerned about the rise in both your water and energy bills!

A little drip is much more than an annoyance that can be overlooked. A small leak causes major waste and can lead to major damage over time. A small leak is a cry for help from your plumbing system, and if not addressed, can turn into a major leak that will cause much more of a headache. If you have a leak, don’t ignore it, call a trusted local plumber to come to diagnose your plumbing issues and make the repairs necessary to keep all the water in your pipes.