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Water Leaks at Home

Leaks at Home

Abnormally high water bill? It could be a leak

Have you received an unusually high water bill? Or do you just want to be sure your home is as water efficient as possible? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, over the course of one year a typical household leak can waste enough water to do 315 loads of laundry. That's an extra 20 percent on your water bill. To identify and stop leaks in your home, use the tips and resources below.

Who is responsible for what?

You are responsible to maintain the water meter and pipes from inside your home to your property line.


Inside the home                                                                   Outside the home


The curb stop is typically located at the property line. The curb stop is a control valve for the water supply to your home that is used to shut off the water in case of an emergency. It is usually located at property line.

You are responsible for repairs to any privately owned pipes that are leaking, including the pipe between the property line and the water meter. You are responsible for paying for all water that passes through your water meter, including water leaks or plumbing malfunctions.

Curb Stop

How to detect a household leak and what to do when you find it

Step 1: Use your water meter to detect leaks

Locate your water meter. Your property's water meter is usually located in the basement or crawl space, where the water pipe enters your home.

Hold a bright flashlight on the light sensor (As described as "Light Sensor" below photo).

The LCD display will display intermittent display screens:

A. Meter reading to the nearest thousandth (3 decimal places).

B. Rate of flow.

To check for a water leak, examine the rate of flow display:

A. Shut off all water in the house.

B. Activate the meter using a flashlight.

C. Observe the rate of flow display screen.

D. An observed rate reading of greater than 0.000, corresponds to water moving through the meter. If all water has been shut-off then a leak may exist in your water system at some point between your water meter and your faucets and other water fixtures.

Another way to detect leaks is by using the leak indicator display on your meter. The leak indicator displays a possible leak with a dripping faucet icon in the upper left corner of the LCD panel.

Contact a licensed plumber to identify and remedy the problem as soon as possible to avoid excessive billing.


Step 2: Find the leak and repair it

The top causes of water leaks and high water bills are caused by toilet leaks, irrigation system leaks, sink and faucet leaks, swimming pool leaks and water softeners that are not working properly.

Other sources of water leaks include hot water tank, furnace mounted humidifier valves, water-primed floor drain, washing machine, sprinkler system and outdoor hose bib.


Myth #1: Small Leaks Don't Add Up

Myth #2: Leaks are Seen and Heard

Myth #3: Leaks are Continuous

Myth #4: Water Meters Can Over Record

Important Note

It is the responsibility of the home owner to undertake all necessary plumbing repairs and maintenance inside their home. The Town is not responsible for internal plumbing leaks in a private residence. If you are unable to locate the source of a leak or perform the necessary repairs, please contact a qualified plumbing professional.

Cost of Leaks

If you have a leak, your water use will increase and remain elevated until it is fixed. This will affect your water consumption charges and result in a higher utility bill. See how much they cost.

Water Service Pipe Leak

A continuous leak from a hole in a water service pipe can waste water in the amounts shown below:

 Size of Hole  Amount and Cost of Water Wasted
  Circle to represent hole that is 1/16 inches in size 1/16" hole

 Wastes 3.57 m³ (3,570 litres) in 24 hours

 Cost: $11.95/day or $1,433.85 in 120 days

  Circle to represent hole that is 1/8 inches in size 1/8" hole

 Wastes 14 m³ (14,000 litres) in 24 hours

 Cost: $46.86/day or $5,622.96 in 120 days

  Circle to represent hole that is 3/16 inches in size  3/16" hole

 Wastes 32.13 m³ (32,130 litres in 24 hours

 Cost: $107.54/day or $12,904.69 in 120 days


Toilet Leak

A leaky toilet can waste up to 600+ cubic metres a month or 20 cubic metres a day:

 Amount of Wasted Water  Cost of Wasted Water
 20 m³ (20,000 litres)  $66.94/day
 600 m³ (600,000 litres)  $2,008.20/month