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A New Year's Resolution: Value Your Water

American Water Offers Steps for a Healthy and Sustainable 2011

VOORHEES, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- As 2010 draws to a close, most Americans continue to enjoy access to clean, low-cost tap water across the country. In fact, many Americans take for granted their reliable supply of high-quality water, and its impact on their daily lives. For a New Year's resolution with lasting impact, American Water (NYSE: AWK) the nation's largest investor-owned water utility, is urging Americans to value and preserve this crucial resource. The company has compiled a list of water-conscious steps that consumers can take to enjoy a healthier and more environmentally friendly lifestyle.

Step # 1: Drink More Tap Water!

The Cornell Medical Center has estimated that as many as 3 out of 4 Americans are chronically dehydrated. Even mild dehydration can lead to fatigue and loss of concentration. In addition, proper hydration is crucial for long-term health. Water flushes toxins from vital organs, carries nutrients to cells, and contributes to muscle health — decreasing joint and back pain, among other benefits. The Mayo Clinic cites research from The Institute of Medicine recommending that men consume roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of water and women consume 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of water per day. It's not necessary to turn to bottled water to meet these goals, however. The use of tap water in refillable bottles is inexpensive, safe, and environmentally friendly — as "Step 2" outlines.

Step # 2: Drink Water Responsibly!

Keep a reusable bottle of water near your desk, during workouts, or near at hand while at home for frequent water breaks. Tap water is inexpensive (typically available from the faucet for less than a penny a gallon as a national average); safe (regulated by the EPA, with tests performed multiple times per day); and environmentally friendly (the majority of plastic disposable water bottles are never recycled). According to the Container Recycling Institute, 85 percent of plastic water bottles end up in the trash even though they are made of recyclable materials. Americans throw away an average of 38 billion water bottles a year.

Step # 3: Check for Leaks

Millions of gallons of water are lost to leaks each year across the country. It is not uncommon to lose more than 100 gallons a week to a single toilet leak, for instance. You can check for toilet leaks by putting a few drops of food coloring in the tank, then watching for a few minutes. If the color shows up in the bowl, you have a leak that needs to be repaired. Regularly check faucets and pipes for leaks, as well. Look for drips or stains underneath or behind appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines. Outdoors, check for damaged sprinkler system heads and system leaks. As a general test, check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes at all, you probably have a leak. American Water offers leak detection kits, which are available in a downloadable PDF version at:

Step # 4: Use Water Efficient Fixtures

Advances in plumbing technology and design mean that faucets, showers, and toilets can use significantly less water than standard models while still delivering the rinse, spray, and flush that consumers expect. Look for the EPA's WaterSense label at leading retailers. If one in every 10 American homes upgraded a full bathroom with WaterSense labeled fixtures, combined savings would represent about 74 billion gallons of water per year.

Step # 5: Insulate Pipes for All Seasons

Take steps to prevent water loss and water damage from frozen and burst pipes. Search for pipes that are not insulated, or that pass through unheated spaces such as crawlspaces, basements or garages. Wrap them with pre-molded foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation, available at hardware stores. Consider wrapping pipes with electric heating tape, but follow manufacturer's instructions carefully, and purchase heat tape with a built-in thermostat that only turns heat on when needed. Seal cracks and holes in outside walls and foundations with caulking to keep cold wind from pipes. In addition, wrap your water heater in an insulation blanket. Nearly 15 percent of an average home energy bill goes to heating water.

Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs more than 7, 000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to approximately 16 million people in 35 states and Ontario and Manitoba, Canada. More information can be found at

American Water
Denise Venuti Free, 856-309-4690
Middleton & Gendron, Inc.
Burns Patterson, 212-980-9193

Source: American Water

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