Be a Leak Detective!
Undetected leaks in your home can add up to a lot of household water waste every year - that's a lot of wasted drinking water, and your hard earned money!
In celebration of Fix a Leak Week, to reduce water waste associated with undetected leaks and promote the wise and efficient use of our drinking water, CRD is offering residents in the capital region a free leak detection kit containing valuable tools to help reduce household water waste. Kit contents include: toilet dye tablets, faucet aerator, shower bag to measure flows, drip gauge, a household water efficiency guide, and other educational materials.
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Leak kits may be collected from March 18-29 at one of these locations:
- CRD Headquarters, 625 Fisgard Street, Victoria
- CRD Integrated Water Services, 479 Island Highway, View Royal
- Panorama Recreation Centre, 1885 Forest Park Drive, North Saanich
- District of Saanich Municipal Hall, 770 Vernon Avenue, Saanich
- Town of Sidney Municipal Hall, 2440 Sidney Avenue, Sidney
- Town of View Royal, 45 View Royal Avenue, View Royal
- District of Oak Bay Municipal Hall, 2167 Oak Bay Avenue, Oak Bay
- District of North Saanich Municipal Hall, 1620 Mills Road, North Saanich
- City of Colwood Municipal Hall, 3300 Wishart Road, Colwood
- Township of Esquimalt, 1229 Esquimalt Road, Esquimalt
- District of Central Saanich Municipal Hall, 1903 Mount Newton Cross Road, Central Saanich
Leak Detection brochure
The best way to check for overall leaks is to use your water meter. Follow these simple steps to determine if you have a leak.
- Shut off all of your water-using appliances and fixtures, including the automatic ice maker in the fridge.
- Remove the lid from your meter box. *It is usually concrete or metal - about 10x15 inches. Take care not to damage the wires!
- For new meters, watch the triangle in the middle of the meter for a few minutes. In older meters, watch the 10 gallon hand. If neither moves, you don't have a leak.
- If you have a leak, you will need to play detective to find the source. The most likely culprits are toilets, faucets, showerheads, service lines and sprinkler systems.
*Please note: CRD assumes no liability for damage or injury resulting from the removal of meter lids; Customers do so at their own risk.
High volume water leaks often come from toilets. They are hard to detect and are usually caused by a worn or misaligned part. A toilet that continues to run after flushing could be wasting 20 – 40 litres per hour - that's 175,000 to 350,000 litres per year, enough water to fill a swimming pool!
To check for a toilet leak, use a dye tablet or food colouring. Carefully remove the toilet tank lid. Place a dye tablet or some food colouring in the tank. Wait about 15 minutes without flushing. After 15 minutes check the water in your toilet bowl. If the water is coloured, you've got a leak. Toilet repairs may require the assistance of a plumber. To get a free dye tablet, call CRD Water Conservation at 250.474.9684.
Faucets and Showerheads
Leaking faucets and showerheads are also big water wasters, but they are easier to detect than toilet leaks. Worn washers or seats are the most likely cause of leaks in these fixtures. Repairing leaky faucets is usually a straightforward and inexpensive job, but worthwhile, as a little drip can waste lots of water and dollars.
A leaking service line or pipe in your home can add up to serious water waste. A small hole in a pipe (1.5mm) wastes 280,000 litres of water in a three-month period. That is enough water to do about 900 loads of laundry.
Whether you use an in-ground system or a single oscillating head, check it carefully for leaks. The average garden hose delivers 27 litres of water per minute, so a split in the hose or a poor coupling could be wasting large amounts of water. Make sure the outdoor faucet is turned off after each use - even small drips add up to big waste. Use garden water as wisely as possible. Consider using drip irrigation, and use a watering can whenever possible.
A leak in your in-ground system is less noticeable than in a hose, and can waste even greater amounts of water. If you think your in-ground system may have a leak, check for wet patches in your lawn that do not dry. Contact your irrigation contractor for a system check-up.
Join us for a free introductory irrigation workshop to learn about irrigation installation, operation, repair and system maintenance.