The week to track down leaks!
In one year, a leak of one drop per second can waste 10,000 litres of water - more than enough to supply all the water you need for cooking for one year!
In celebration of the EPA WaterSense Fix a Leak Week, the CRD is offering free leak detection kits to residents in the capital region which include: dye tablets to check for leaking toilets; a drip gauge to measure how much water is being wasted from a dripping faucet; a shower bag to determine shower fixture flows; bathroom faucet aerator; a Household Guide to Water Efficiency; a water shut-off tag to help you locate your main water shut-off in case of emergency, and other informational brochures.
Residents may pick up a Leak Kit (while quantities last) during March 19-29, at one of the following locations:
- CRD Headquarters: 625 Fisgard St, Victoria
- CRD Integrated Water Services: 479 Island Hwy, View Royal
- Saanich Municipal Hall: 770 Vernon Ave, Saanich
- North Saanich Municipal Hall: 1620 Mills Rd, North Saanich
In support of Fix a Leak Week, the CRD invites residents in the capital region to join us for a free irrigation workshop, to help locate undetected leaks in their system, to learn water efficient ways to set and control their system, and DIY tips for starting-up and winterizing your system. Follow the links below for individual workshop details. Workshop participants will also receive a free Leak Detection kit, including a hose connection vacuum breaker (back-flow preventer).
Please call the CRD to pre register at 250.474.9684
Efficient Irrigation Maintenance Introductory workshop
Saturday, March 24 from 2 - 5pm in Sidney
Efficient Irrigation Controller Scheduling workshop
Wednesday, March 28 from 7-9pm in Saanich
Be a Leak Detective!
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.