Leaks & Helpful Tips

Water Meter - Sweep HandThink You Have a Leak?

If you think you have a leak, there is a simple test you can perform:

  1. Turn off all faucets and water-using appliances.
  2. Locate your water meter and lift the cover to view the meter dial.
  3. Note the position of the sweep-hand or place a piece of tape over the lens cover and mark where the sweep-hand is.
  4. Wait 20-30 minutes. Don't use any water. Then check the sweep-hand location. If the sweep-hand has moved, you may have a leak somewhere in your system.

Common Sources of Leaks

  • Your toilet may have a silent leak. Drop a little food coloring into the tank. Wait about 10 minutes without flushing. If color appears in the bowl, you have a leak.
  • Check for moist spots around and under the house plumbing and around outdoor plumbing.
  • Replace worn washers in faucets and shower heads. Even a small drip can waste as much as 170 gallons of water each day, or 5,000 gallons per month.

Water Leakage ChartHow Much Water Does Your Leak Waste?

Through A Hole*Gallons Per Month Waste Drops Per MinuteGallons Per Month Waste
1/4 inches400,00060192
3/16 inches225,00090288
1/8 inches100,000120383
1/16 inches25,000  
1/32 inches6,300  

*Assumes 60 PSI.

How Much Water Does the Average Household Use?

Did you know that most people use an average of 70-90 gallons of water per day? In the average house, 2/3 of indoor water is used in the bathroom. Take some time to go through your house or apartment and look for ways to conserve!

Type of Water UsePercentage of Average Daily Use
Toilet26.7%
Clothes washer21.7%
Shower16.8%
Faucet15.7%
Leak13.7%
Other domestic use2.2%
Bath1.7%
Dishwasher1.4%

Source: American Water Works Association Residential End Uses of Water 1999.

Water Meter ExplainedHow To Read Your Water Meter

Reading your water meter is like reading the odometer of your car. Read the numbers from left to right that appear under the words "Cubic Feet."

The 1st digit on the right represents 1 cubic foot. The 2nd from the right represents 10 cubic feet. The 3rd from the right (usually a different color) represents 100 cubic feet - or 1 ccf.

One revolution of the meter sweep-hand equals 1 cubic foot, or 7.48 gallons.