Leaks

The following chart shows the amount of water that can be lost (and billed to your account) for various size leaks.
Size of Leak (inches)
Gallons Lost (per day)
Gallons Lost (per month)
1/32
264 7,920
1/16
943 28,300
1/8
3,806 114,200
1/4
15,226 456,800
1/2
60,900 1,827,000
Note: A dripping leak consumes 15 gallons per day and 450 gallons per month.

Read Your Water Meter


Use your water meter to check for leaks in your home. Start by turning off all faucets and water-using appliances and make sure no one uses water during the testing period. Take a reading on your water meter, wait for about 30 minutes, and then take a second reading. If the dial has moved, you have a leak.


Check for Leaky Toilets


The most common source of leaks is the toilet. Check the overflow of the tank to make sure no water is running over (float level may be set too high). The flapper valve in the bottom of the tank is also a location of a possible leaking toilet. To check for a flapper valve leak, put a small amount of food coloring in the toilet tank after it has filled. Do not flush the toilet for at least an hour, or overnight if possible. If the food coloring shows up in the bowl without flushing, you probably have a leaking flapper or plunger ball valve. View a YouTube Video on checking for toilet leaks.

Please view the following list of toilet-related facts:
  • An average of 20% of toilets leak.
  • Leaky toilets can usually be repaired inexpensively by replacing the flapper.
  • Older toilets (installed prior to 1994) use 3.5 to 7 gallons (13-27 liters) of water per flush and as much as 20 gallons (76 liters) per person per day.
  • Replacing an old toilet with a new model can save the typical household 7,900 to 21,700 gallons (29,902 to 82,135 liters) of water per year, cutting both water and wastewater bills.
  • Toilets can account for almost 30% of all indoor water use, more than any other fixture or appliance.

Check for Leaky Faucets

The next place to check for leaks is your sink and bathtub faucets. Replacing the rubber O-ring or washer inside the valve can usually repair dripping faucets. You can also use AWWA's Drip Calculator to measure and estimate water wasted due to leaks. Additionally, check for leaks on outside faucets and make sure the valve closes properly.

Water Conservation


For more information about water conservation contact the Normal Water Department at (309) 454-9563
or research online at Water Conservation.