Leaks & Helpful Tips

Think 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 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.

How Much Water Does Your Leak Waste?

Gallons per much waste for leaks of 60 PSI through various hole sizes.
Hole Size
Gallons Per Month
1/4 inch
400,000
3/16 inch
225,000
1/8 inch
100,000
1/16 inch
25,000
1/32 inch
6,300

How Much Water Does a Drip Waste?

Gallons per month wasted by drips.
Drops Per Minute
Gallons Per Month
60
192
90
288
120
383

Average Household Water 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!

Household Water Use

Common Household Water Use Types by Percentage Source: American Water Works Association Residential End Uses of Water 1999.
Type of Water Use
Percentage of Average Daily Use
Toilet
26.7%
Clothes Washer
21.7%
Shower
16.8%
Faucet
15.7%
Leak
13.7%
Other domestic use
1.7%
Bath
1.7%
Dishwasher
1.4%