Be a Leak Detective!

Household leaks constitute up to 14% of all indoor water use – that’s 30 L of water wasted per person per day or up to $25 per person per year! A family of four could have $100 per year going down the drain. Be a leak detective to save drinking water and your hard-earned money, too!

leaking-hosebibSimple and inexpensive repairs can prevent our drinking water from being wasted. Leaks are commonly due to worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets and other leaking valves. Repair any leaky fixtures and check your toilet at least once a year for undetected leaks. Ensure that 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 learn how to check for overall leaks here.

Check these 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 - 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,* food colouring, juice crystals or instant coffee. Carefully remove the toilet tank lid. Place a dye tablet (or alternative) 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.

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

*Contact us for free dye tablets.

Faucets and Showerheads

Leaking faucets and showerheads are also 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.

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.

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 27 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.

Use EPA WaterSense Find It, Flag It, Fix It checklist for regular checkups for your irrigation system.

Resources

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Please email for free dye tablets.