Water scarcity and the need for conservation is now a major topic of discussion around the globe, and rightfully so. Life without sufficient water is no life at all. So, we’re asked to change our behavior. Shut the water when brushing teeth, take shorter showers and don’t water the lawn daily. And even with those changes, homes still waste trillions of gallons of water every year. Why? The answer is leaks.

An average United States household loses 13 percent of their water to leaks everyday — that’s almost 18 gallons of water per home, per day. That equals a loss of over 1 trillion gallons of water each year, equivalent to the amount of water needed annually for Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami combined. This leaky waste is due to leaks in the plumbing of our homes and most of the time, we don’t even know it’s happening. 

Updating the infrastructure

Plumbing infrastructure in our homes doesn’t last forever. Eventually, it fails. Leaks happen. And until now, we haven’t had a technology to tell us definitively when these leaks exist and when our homes are actually leak free. We may be able to hear toilets running or see faucets dripping, but what about the leaks we can’t see behind the walls, underneath the slab or in our irrigation systems? 

As we think about the different ways we can conserve water, remember that the problem is all around us, including in our homes.

Maintenance of home plumbing isn’t a class offered in school and isn’t something most people know to do or how. Like the smoke alarms and energy-saving smart thermostats that are now commonplace in homes, water efficiency technology has arrived and is poised to begin helping homeowners identify when they’re wasting water. They also enable a sort of security system to avoid property damage as a result of the leaks, which is a leading cause of homeowners insurance claims, totaling over $9 billion per year). 

Embracing new tech

Flo Technologies is at the forefront of the solution. In 2015, my father and I founded our California-based company to “prevent loss, one drip at a time.” Our technology monitors all home water usage to detect leaks as small as a single drop per minute anywhere in the home, can shut-off the water automatically and provides real-time data to show customers how much water they’re using.  

The technology doesn’t even wait for there to be a leak. It proactively monitors the integrity of the plumbing system in real time to identify vulnerabilities that lead to leaks. For example, water pressure in your home is like the blood pressure in your body. As high blood pressure puts stress on parts of your body and can cause serious problems, the same is true for the home. High water pressure is serious stress being applied to the entire home’s plumbing. Left untreated, high water pressure can cause bursts in pipes, fixtures, and appliances, causing tons of wasted water and property damage.

As we think about the different ways we can conserve water, remember that the problem is all around us, including in our homes. And while we can strive to change our habits over time, addressing home leaks can be even more impactful today. And adopting the right technology is the start.