In a recent discovery by the Mars Rover, Opportunity, NASA has found evidence that there was once water on Mars; potable water that you could drink. Mars, at one time could support life. When I think about the red planet and its similarity to the earth, it makes me want to check my toilets for leaks and my sprinkler system for misdirected heads. How often do you think about water? Consider that less than 1% of the water in the world is fit for human use. Why would we waste it? Mike Radice once said to me, “Water is the New Oil” and I believe that he is correct, partly. Although water will become as precious and inflated in price as oil (which is what Mike meant), unlike oil, there is no substitute. We cannot manufacture water out of solar or convert from water to cooking oil for our showers and have the same effect. There is simply no replacement for water.
Let’s break this down to our industry—14% of all your water consumption is leaks. That means that 14% of your water expense is just wasted money. You might as well have filled a metal trash can with Benjamin’s and burned them to cook hot dogs. 14%! For earth’s sake and for your sake, I hope you ping your maintenance team and ask them to perform a unit by unit inspection to check to see if your toilet flappers are seating correctly. (If you have never done this type of leak detection, ask me how!) Did you know that after 6-12 months the flappers may not seat right (particularly if your water is hard) and there is silent water loss occurring? This water loss is silent, but deadly to your P&L. The resident doesn’t hear it, you don’t know about it—14%. Most of us only replace our toilet flappers upon turnover. Let’s face it; the toilet is the least sexy looking fixture at our communities. We want to neglect it. However, we should put on our Barry White records and take another look at those potties. 14% of all water at your properties is wasted due to leaks. “Why hello, you porcelain throne…you come here often?” Test your toilets for leaks. It takes only a couple of minutes. Otherwise, you are losing money and the planet is just losing.
Once our water is gone, we cannot make more. How many more years could earth survive if we saved 14% annually for perpetuity? Do we want Earth to be the next planet that Opportunity explores, hoping to prove the existence of life?
For more info on Mars and Opportunity:
For more fun tips about water: