Be a Leak Detective!

leak tag - no phone number-tall webHousehold leaks constitute up to 14% of all indoor water use.

Simple and inexpensive repairs can help prevent our drinking water from being wasted.

Remember to check your faucets and toilets at least once a year to reduce the waste of drinking water. Ensure you know the location of your main water shut-off in case of an emergency water leak.

Always check your water bill for abnormal consumption. CRD Water Services customers can also learn how to check for overall leaks on their bills. Be a leak detective to save drinking water and your hard-earned money, too!

Check out these other pages to learn how to conserve water in other parts of your home:

Learn more about commonly leaky fixtures:

Toilets

High volume water leaks often come from toilets. Toilet leaks are often silent, which makes them 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—which adds up 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*, food colouring, juice crystals or instant coffee. Carefully remove the toilet tank lid. Place a dye tablet (or alternative) in the tank. Wait 15 minutes without flushing. After 15 minutes, check the water in your toilet bowl. If the water is coloured, you've got a leak.

The leak may be due to an old or worn-out toilet flapper that can be easily replaced; check out this video to learn how. Some toilet repairs may require the assistance of a plumber.

*Contact us for free dye tablets or pick them up at the Integrated Water Services 479 Island Highway location.

Faucets and Showerheads

Leaking faucets and showerheads are big water wasters, but they are easier to detect than toilet leaks. An intermittent drip from your faucet or showerhead can waste more than 35,000 litres of water a year, enough to fill a bathtub over 100 times!

Look for worn washers and “o” rings inside the showerhead and faucet. A leaky showerhead may also need a tighter connection between the showerhead and the pipe system, and can be fixed with pipe tape to secure it. Repairing leaky faucets is usually a straightforward and inexpensive job, but worthwhile as a little drip can waste lots of water and dollars.

Irrigation Systems

Whether you have an in-ground system, a single oscillating head or a garden hose, check each spring to make sure it was not damaged by frost or freezing in winter. During the irrigation season, regularly check your system carefully for leaks. The average garden hose delivers 25 litres of water per minute, so a thin split in the hose or a poor coupling could be wasting large amounts of water. Ensure the outdoor faucet is turned off after each use; even small drips add up to big waste.

Look for:

  • Leaks at the joints between the sprinklers and the piping.
  • Heads that do not pop up fully or are titled.
  • Loose connections between all the valves and other components, and ensure that the valves can shut.
  • Wet patches in your lawn that do not dry.
  • Sprinklers watering the driveway, house or sidewalk.

Contact your irrigation contractor for a system check-up. Use garden water as wisely and effectively as possible. Consider using micro/drip irrigation, and use a watering can whenever possible.

Learn more about efficient irrigation systems and check out the CRD Irrigation Maintenance Series.

Pipes

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. Look for unexpected increases in your water bill.

Fix a Leak Week

What is Fix a Leak Week?

Mark your calendars for Fix a Leak Week! In 2024, Fix a Leak Week runs from March 18 to 24.

Fix a Leak Week is an annual campaign that educates homeowners about leak detection best practices to reduce the amount of potable water loss in the capital region.

To help residents proactively look for leaks in their homes, the CRD distributes Fix a Leak Week kits throughout the region for residents to pick up.

These kits include toilet dye tabs, a bag to measure the flow rate of the showerhead, a tag to identify the emergency water shut of, and a household guide to water efficiency.

How can I participate?

Participate in Fix a Leak Week and track down household leaks using a free leak detection toolkit provided by the CRD. Toolkits can be picked up across the region at the following locations:

  • CRD Headquarters (front reception): 625 Fisgard St., Victoria BC V8W 1R7
  • CRD Integrated Water Services (utility billing reception): 479 Island Hwy., Victoria BC V9B 1H7
  • Central Saanich Municipal Hall: 1903 Mount Newton Cross Rd, Saanichton BC V8M 2A9
  • Colwood City Hall: 3300 Wishart Rd., Victoria BC V9C 1R1
  • Esquimalt Municipal Hall: 1229 Esquimalt Rd., Esquimalt BC V9A 3P1
  • Esquimalt Recreation Centre: 527 Fraser St., Esquimalt BC V9A 6H6
  • Langford City Hall: 2nd Floor, 877 Goldstream Ave., Langford BC V9B 2X8
  • North Saanich Municipal Hall: 1620 Mills Rd., North Saanich BC V8L 5S9
  • Oak Bay Municipal Hall: 2167 Oak Bay Ave., Victoria BC V8R 1G2
  • Panorama Recreation Centre: 1885 Forest Park Dr., North Saanich BC V8L 4A3
  • Saanich Municipal Hall: 770 Vernon Ave., Victoria BC V8X 2W7
  • Saanich Engineering Department: 3500 Blanshard St., Victoria BC V8X 1W3
  • SEAPARC Leisure Complex: 2168 Phillips Rd., Sooke BC V9Z 0Y3
  • Sidney Town Hall: 2440 Sidney Ave., Sidney BC V8L 1Y7
  • View Royal Town Hall: 45 View Royal Ave., Victoria BC V9B 1A6

Resources

Sewer Leaks

Learn about inspecting, maintaining and repairing your sewer and stormwater laterals and foundation drains to prevent sewer back ups:

Contact Us

Please email for free dye tablets.