Most breaks, however, aren’t so dramatic or obvious. Think of a pinhole leak in an underground water main. It might seep a comparatively small amount of water – dozens or a few hundreds of gallons a day. But add up all those leaks in a network of pipes hundreds of miles long, and you’re talking about a lot of wasted H2O.
For instance, Philadelphia’s water department pumps 250 million gallons of water through its municipal system each day. Experts say about a quarter of the water never actually reaches the businesses and residences on the other end of its pipes. That’s 60 million gallons of water lost today. And tomorrow. And the day after that.