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According to the U.S. EPA, the average household's leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year, or the amount of water needed to wash 270 loads of laundry. If you feel your water use is high, compare your current water use to your past usage and check for common leaks. Common types of leaks found in the home include worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves. Some leaks you can easily fix yourself.
Checking for leaks
Water meter box: Check your meter box for pooling water. Standing water inside the box often indicates there is a leak.
Irrigation systems: Standing water or areas of consistently moist soil can indicate an irrigation or service line leak. Check the sprinkler head at the lowest elevation of the yard, pooling water can indicate an irrigation valve leak.
Indoor pipes: If you hear water running in your home, but don’t have a tap turned on, you may have a leaky pipe. Hot water is the most common indoor leak, check your natural gas bill to see if there are spikes in usage.
Toilets: Put two-three drops of food coloring in your toilet tank. If after 15 minutes the coloring has dripped into the bowl without flushing, you have a toilet flapper valve leak.
Faucets and showerheads: Check kitchens, laundry rooms and bathrooms for dripping fixtures. If you have consistent drips or streams, you need to tighten your taps. If that does not work, you may have a leak.
Water usage on utility bills: If the water usage on your utility bill is higher than average, you may have a leak in your home or on your property.
WaterInsight: Sign up for WaterInsight. This free water-tracking tool helps detect leaks. Activate your account!
Request a leak check: The Public Works Department provides leak checks free of charge by calling 757-5686 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Public Works staff will check for continuous use at the meter and contact you with their findings.
Leak Losses (larger leaks can occur)
|Type of Leak
||1/4 gallon per minute||131,400 gallons
||1 gallon per minute