JOPLIN, Mo. — Whether it’s a water leak in your kitchen, bathroom, or outdoor faucets, pesky leaks can be a bother – especially if it’s left untouched for too long.

Lucky for us, Missouri American Water and the Environmental Protection Agency have teamed up this week for “Fix a Leak Week”, offering some helpful tips.

First, keep a close eye on your monthly water bills, and check for spikes.

If it’s not from extra water usage like watering a garden or filling a swimming pool, it could be a leak.

You’re also advised to test your toilet for a leak, by dropping some food coloring in the toilet tank.

If any color shows up in the bowl after 10 minutes, you have a leak.

It’s also important to watch out for drastic changes in temperatures impacting pipes, and officials say, sometimes spotting a leak is as easy as listening for one.

“You know if you have a leak, and it’s a leak of magnitude that you don’t think you can tackle on your own, there are many plumbers in the area that can help, but the key is, once you identify it, get it fixed because 9 times out of 10, those leaks will get worse and they can end up costing homeowners money,” said Christie Barnhart, Senior External Communications Manager, MO American Water.

According to the EPA, the average home can leak up to 10,000 gallons of water per year.

That’s enough water to wash more than 300 loads of laundry.