Monday, May 27, 2024


Water leaks account for approximately 14% of all water use in the average American home, and the toilet is one of the most likely places to find them.  Even though you may not hear the toilet refilling, it may still be quietly increasing the water level in the toilet tank to maintain the water needed for flushing.   Every day that a silent leak goes undetected can amount to as much as 300 gallons of water. That is three times the amount of water the average American uses in an entire day.  To check for a leak in your toilet you can add 10 drops of food coloring to the tank of the toilet and then wait an hour or two.  If the colored water in the tank appears in the bowl of the toilet without flushing, the toilet is leaking.

  • Other appliances to check include your hot water heater, water softener, washing machine and dishwasher.  Check these regularly for water leaks.


  • You can also check for a leak by watching your water meter.  If the last number on the meter is moving and you have no water running in your home, you have a leak.  Another way to check this is to write down the meter reading before you leave for work and then check it again when you get home.  If no one has been home and the meter reading has changed, you have a leak somewhere.     


  • To determine if you have a leak in your service line from the meter to your home, shut off the main water valve in your home.  Watch your water meter for a period of 10-15 minutes.  If the last number on the meter is moving, even slowly, there is water being used somewhere outside your home.


  • Another way that leaks are sometimes detected is by a loss in the pressure and volume that exists throughout your house.  If you notice that your water pressure in your shower or kitchen is decreasing steadily you should do some investigating.   Check all faucets including your outside hydrant  and if you notice the same decreased water pressure, call the District at 785.862.3305.  We will double check to make sure that your pressure problem is not related to a problem in the water main.


  • A dripping faucet can waste 7 gallons of water per day or just over 2,500 gallons of water per year.  A leaking pipe or service line can be quite a bit more.  A pinhole leak can waste 170 gallons per day and as the pinhole leak gets larger, water loss can exceed 13,000 gallons per day.