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Students Find Leaky Toilets

By Florida's Original NatureCoaster™ Posted on May 16, 2017

In celebration of the EPA’s “We’re for Water” initiative, Citrus County Utilities challenged 3rd, 4th and 5th grade classrooms to test home toilets for leaks in the third annual Classroom Leak Detection Challenge.  Twenty-nine classes from six schools tested 593 toilets using dye tablets provided by the utility.

“The students were surprised to learn that toilet leaks occur within the tank and bowl, not necessarily outside the toilet (leaking water on the floor),” said Forest Ridge Elementary 5th grade science teacher Kathy Kopp.  Her first year taking the challenge, Kopp added that “it gave students a real-life activity to share with their parents and other family members.”

One leaky toilet can waste up to 200 gallons a day, according to water conservation manager Debra Burden.  The challenge prompted students and parents to find 90 leaky toilets that if fixed could result in 18,000 gallons a day in water savings.  Nearly fifty percent of parents indicated they had already fixed the leak.

Participating classes were also entered into a chance drawing to win a pizza party.  During the Citrus County Board of County Commissioners May 9, 2017 meeting, Chairman Scott Carnahan drew 5th grade teacher Kristen Rolfe’s classroom of Forest Ridge Elementary.  The pizza is being generously donated by Angelo’s Pizzeria.

Toilet leaks are often caused by flapper deterioration.  The flapper is the rubber device that opens and closes to allow water into the toilet tank. When a flapper does not fit snuggly, water leaks from the tank into the toilet bowl, and then goes down the drain without the need of flushing.  Flappers usually cost less than $20 and are simple enough for the average homeowner to replace on their own.

Because it wants to ensure water supplies last for future generations, Citrus County Utilities is doing its part to save water.  Learn more about water conservation by visiting and take the I’m for Water pledge.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created “We’re for Water” as a national campaign to educate consumers about water-saving behaviors and WaterSense labeled products.


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