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The Environmental Impact of Underground Water Leaks

Water is the one resource we all need to survive and underground water leaks can cause enormous harm to the environment and put local water resources at risk of contamination. The better you understand the potential harm these leaks can cause, the greater urgency you can place on detecting and repairing underwater leaks in your home, your business, and your community.

Whether you’re working with a residential or commercial underground water leak, the damage it can cause is devastating to the planet and the community. That is why prompt detection and correction are essential. These are a few brief examples of the environmental impact something as simple as an underground water leak can have.

Depletion of Water Resources

The first, and perhaps most impactful, environmental problem associated with underground water leaks has to do with the depletion of potable water in the community. According to National Public Radio (NPR), potable water is not something we should take for granted. Nearly one-quarter (25 percent) of the world’s population lacks access to safe drinking water. This is a commodity that many Americans do take for granted as we can simply turn on the tap and water appears. However, underground water leaks place the potability of our water at greater risk.

The other consideration is that water is a consumable resource. While there are untapped sources of water around the world, there are limits on its availability and access. The more we consume, the less that may be available for future generations. While it is true that much of the planet is made of water, most of that water isn’t drinkable. The more water that is contaminated through underground water leaks, pollution, and more, the less that is available for drinking – today, and in the future. The bottom line is that underground water leaks result in the loss of water that is no longer available for humans to drink, for animals to drink, to water plants, or for simple activities like bathing and washing hands.

Contaminated Waterways

Perhaps the greatest environmental catastrophe caused by underground water leaks is that it leads to the contamination of waterways that provide water to plants, animals, and humans for miles around. This isn’t a problem that exists in the vacuum of what it does to home, hearth, land, and property. It causes environmental damage that can be seen, sometimes, for hundreds and hundreds of miles in the form of river pollution, reservoir pollution, and more.

The more humans, animals, and plants that are watered from a certain body of water – the greater damage it can cause. This is especially true in the case of underground water leaks associated with irrigation for fields that utilize pesticides, although that doesn’t absolve all other water leaks of the potential for widespread environmental harm.

Increases Energy Consumption

Finally, underground pipe leaks can cause a wide range of problems when it comes to energy consumption. The depletion of the water leaked means that new water must be processed to make it safe for drinking within the community. This process consumes enormous amounts of electricity to make the water safe again.

How much energy?

According to the Governmental Accountability Office, nearly three to four percent of the nation’s electricity (within the United States) is used to move and treat drinking and wastewater. Think of how much your monthly electricity bill is and multiply that by every U.S. business and household. The number is staggering and that is just the monetary costs. It doesn’t even include the number of resources consumed to generate the electricity necessary to clean the water. It certainly makes the idea of turning on the faucet and letting the water run take on a whole new light.

Signs of Underground Water Leaks

Do you have an undetected underground water leak? Because it isn’t something you can easily see (being that it is underground), you’ll have to look for other signs that you might have an underground water leak, like those listed below.

  • Lower than normal water pressure.
  • Constantly spinning water meter.
  • Higher than average water bills.
  • Dirty or smelly water.
  • Cracks in your driveway or foundation.
  • Unexplained puddles or muddy, wet spots in your lawn.
  • Irregular lawn growth (areas where too much water is causing faster growing grass or killing the grass).
  • Noisy plumbing or the sounds of water running or splashing (when all taps are turned off).

While the list is hardly definitive, it can help you determine if there is a need for underground water leak detection for your home, farm, or business.

If you are experiencing the signs listed above of a possible underground water leak, it is a good idea to find out for sure. Contact Simply Leak Detection today to learn more about residential tests for water leaks and how we can help you locate and repair underground water leaks on your property. Early detection and correction is the best tool to minimize the environmental impact of underground water leaks on your property.

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