Be A Leak Detective: Fix A Leak Week March 19 – 25

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG)  |  By Sacramento Suburban Water District Staff

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Did you know that household leaks account for more than 1 trillion gallons of water wasted each year in the United States? That’s enough water to take 24 billion baths or fill up 40 million swimming pools!

That little drip from the kitchen faucet might not seem like much, but it can add up to a lot of water wasted. A faucet leaking just 10 drips per minute can waste up to 526 gallons of water a year. And a toilet that is constantly running can waste hundreds of gallons of water each day. In fact, the average American household loses 10,000 gallons a year to leaks – more than enough water to fill a backyard swimming pool.

So get ready to be a leak detective and discover the hidden leaks in your home. Here's what you need to do:

  • Examine your water bill for clues. If you see an unusual spike in your water usage from one month to next, it’s likely you have a leak.
  • Check all your faucets and showerheads for leaks and loose connections.
  • Look under your kitchen and bathroom sinks for pools of water and rusty pipes.
  • Patrol your yard and be on the look out for soggy spots.
  • Open toilet tank and check the water level it should be ½” to 1” below the over-fill tube. If it is higher, then adjust the float arm to lower the water level. If that is okay, add some drops of food coloring or a toilet dye tab to the tank of your toilet. If the colored water appears in the bowl within 15 minutes, you have a leak in the toilet flapper.
  • If you want some help in sleuthing out leaks, set up a Water Wise House Call. One of Sacramento Suburban Water District’s water conservation professionals will do a complete survey of your home and recommend other ways you can use water efficiently.

And if you are replacing old fixtures or decide to upgrade your toilet, washing machine or dishwasher, make sure to look for a WaterSense- labeled one. SSWD has rebates available to help pay for the cost of some of these upgrades.

SSWD’s Leak Detection Team

Each year, SSWD surveys 60 miles of our water system for leaks with the latest acoustic leak detection technology. These devices can “listen” for vibrations from large or small leaks by placing a microphone against a copper service line, fire hydrant or valve. Once the location of the leak is determined, our team gets to work replacing the line or repairing the break.

If you think you see a sign of a leak in your area, such as water bubbling up out of the street or sidewalk, please contact the SSWD administrative office at 916.972.7171 to let us know, and we’ll have a team out there right away to investigate.