Water leaks often go unnoticed by water utilities, leading to significant costs for homeowners in terms of repairs. The causes of water damage are diverse, ranging from household flooding to faulty plumbing, appliance malfunctions, leaky fixtures, and problems with irrigation systems.

Unfortunately, many homeowners fail to recognize the potential risk of water damage to their homes, which can have a profound impact on their largest financial investment.


Alarming Statistics on Residential Water Damage

Residential water damage is far more prevalent than most people realize, as approximately 14,000 individuals encounter some form of water damage in their homes or workplaces each day. To put this in perspective, it is equivalent to nearly two-thirds of a sell-out crowd at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Shockingly, almost all residential basements in the United States, a staggering 98%, will experience water damage at some point in their lifetimes, resulting in losses claimed by 37% of homeowners. 

The Concern for Water Utilities Managers

Water utilities managers should be concerned about the increasing number of residential customers calling for help due to high bills, often caused by water leaks that are the responsibility of the homeowner, not the utility. Inappropriate and costly customer service calls can be reduced with programs aimed at educating end-use customers and providing them with information to address their water-related problems.

Water leaks causing damage may be more insidious than initially obvious. Even small cracks in water lines can leak substantial amounts of water daily. The aggregate volume of residential water leaks can add up to over 1 trillion gallons of lost water, equivalent to the annual water use of Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami combined.

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Water damage is a common and expensive problem, with 14,000 people in the US experiencing a water damage emergency every day. The insurance industry spends $2.5 billion annually on water damage. Read More on Water Damage Defense's Website: https://www.waterdamagedefense.com/pages/water-damage-by-the-numbers 


Home Water Damage

When you consider the statistics, it becomes clear just how common and devastating a problem water damage can be. Water leaks alone leave incredible amounts of damage and immense waste in their wake. These individual leaks often seem tiny, but over time they can generate enormous waste and damage to a home. 

Although water damage can happen quickly and cause immense damage, there are ways to prevent a lot of it. If you live in a flood prone area, learn about steps you can take to prepare for a flood, including having flood control devices like sandbags or flood barriers on hand.

If groundwater saturation is an issue for your property, ensure that your basement is protected with a high quality sump pump and a dependable backup system, like a battery backup sump pump or a water powered sump pump. Get in the habit of monitoring and maintaining areas in your home prone to water damage; for tips on how to do this, read our eBook on water damage prevention.


The Financial Impact of Water Damage

While flooding tends to be the most expensive form of damage, other issues such as leaky fixtures, frozen pipes, and appliance leaks can range from $25,000 down to $3,500 per incident. The U.S. insurance industry attributes about $2.5 billion paid out each year for water damage-related claims, averaging nearly $7,000 per household claim.

Despite the challenges, homeowners can take steps to protect their property from costly water damage. Regularly inspecting water bills for unusually high volumetric charges, checking for leaks in toilets, verifying irrigation schedules, and maintaining appliances can significantly reduce the likelihood of undetected household leaks.

Water utilities, like those working with VertexOne, can provide useful data and engagement platforms to help homeowners identify and mitigate leaks, fostering stronger relationships and reducing costs for individuals and communities. This represents the hidden opportunities on the flip side of hidden costs.




Water leaks contribute to costs by causing damages such as flooding, faulty plumbing, and appliance failures, resulting in significant repair expenses for homeowners.

Additionally, when homeowners seek assistance from water utilities due to high bills caused by leaks, it leads to inappropriate and costly customer service calls.

These costs can be reduced through educational programs that empower homeowners to address their own water-related issues, ultimately benefiting both homeowners and water utilities.

How can utilities assist homeowners in preventing and addressing water leaks?

Utilities can play a crucial role by providing useful data, customer portals, and engagement platforms.

These platforms guide users through a step-by-step process to investigate common sources of leaks and offer instructions on resolving them.

By empowering homeowners with information and easy-to-understand guidance, utilities can strengthen relationships, reduce costs, and help prevent and address water leaks effectively.

Many homeowners fail to recognize the hidden dangers that come with water leaks. It's hard to believe, but even a tiny 1/8-inch crack in a water line can release a staggering 250 gallons of water every single day. And it's not just cracks that contribute to this problem – a leaky toilet flapper or a faucet that drips one drop per second can also lead to significant water wastage. When you consider the cumulative effect of these seemingly minor leaks, it's shocking to realize that over 1 trillion gallons of water are lost every year. This has a profound impact not only on homeowners but also on the environment.