The Cost of Water Waste
High volume water leaks often come from toilets. They are hard to detect and are usually caused by worn or misaligned parts. A toilet that continues to run after flushing could be wasting 20-40 litres of water per hour – that’s 175,000 to 350,000 litres per year, enough water to fill a swimming pool, and if unattended, could cost up to $556 per year.
To check for a toilet leak, use a dye tablet or food colouring. Carefully remove the toilet tank lid. Place a dye tablet or food colouring in the tank and wait about 15 minutes without flushing. After 15 minutes, check the water in your toilet bowl. If the water is coloured, you have a leak.
Leaking faucets and showerheads are also big water wasters and worn washers are the most likely the cause of leaks in these fixtures. Repairing leaky faucets is usually a straightforward and inexpensive job, but well worthwhile because a little drip can waste significant water and money.
An intermittent drip from your faucet or showerhead can waste more than 35,000 litres of water a year, costing up to $55. This amount of wasted water could fill a bathtub 184 times! A leaking service line or pipe in your home can also add up to serious waste. A small hole in a pipe wastes 280,000 litres of water in a three-month period. Continual leaking from this size hole could cost you about $445 in that three month time period.
The best way to check for overall leaks is to use your water meter. Turn off all your water using fixtures and appliances. Take a look at your water meter. If the dial is still running, you have a leak.
Think you have a leak? Play detective to find the source. The most likely culprits are toilets, faucets, showerheads, service lines and sprinkler systems.
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