Leaks inside your home can be costly and waste thousands of litres of water each year. A bursting pipe in your home calls for immediate action but what about those slow leaks that go undetected for years?
Household leaks can account for over 6000 litres of wasted water every month per household. The following are typically the largest water leakers in the home:
- Toilets can waste over 4000 litres per month, or 60%
- Small drips: 16%
- Faucets: 15%
- Showers: 3%
Fixing household water leaks can save 10% on your water utility bill!
Source: American Water Works Association Research Foundation
Largest water leaker: toilets
How well do you know your toilet?
Toilets account for over
30% of all indoor water use and a
leaky toilet can be a major source of wasted water. A leaky toilet accounts for over
60% of wasted water and one leaky toilet could fill a swimming pool in one year.
20 to 40 litres of water are wasted each hour if your toilet has a silent/steady leak.
Chances are you have a leaky toilet if:
- You rattle the handle after flushing to stop water flowing
- Sounds are coming from the toilet when not in use
- Holding the handle down to completely empty the tank
- Water is trickling down the sides of the bowl long after a flush
- Water running out of the overflow pipe or dripping from the refill tube
Toilet leak detection-The dye test
You can purchase a dye test kit or simply use food colouring. Add a few drops of food colouring to your toilet tank and wait 20 minutes. If you see the water in the toilet bowl turning colour, you have a leak.
Fixing a toilet leak
Do-it-yourself types can buy material and get advice at any plumbing supply store or hardware store
OR contact a plumber and have a professional fix your toilet leaks.
Municipal leaks: what is happening about leaks across the province?
Municipalities across Alberta have been creating Conservation, Efficiency and Productivity (CEP) plans to reduce water use across the province, within municipalities. Within many of these plans, leaks are an important are of interest.
"Unaccounted for" water, also referred to as "non-revenue water" refers to water that has been produced and is "lost" before it reaches the customer. Losses can be real (as a result of leakage) or apparent (through theft, metering inaccuracies, or authorized unmetered consumption).
Municipal water loss varies across Canada. Alberta's municipal sector will maintain the volume of "unaccounted for" water at 10% of total water use.
Lethbridge leaks: what is the City of Lethbridge doing about leaks?
Broken watermains, leaky pipes, theft of water and metering inaccuracies can cost the Lethbridge community millions of tax dollars and waste millions of litres of water.
There are several ways the City of Lethbridge is preventing unaccountable water loss. Rather than reacting to a broken pipe we are being proactive by determining how healthy our aging pipes and systems are. We identify leaks and aging infrastructure and fix or replace pipes before it turns into a significant problem.
The City of Lethbridge Water and Wastewater Operations utilizes a correlator, Echologics Leakfinder ST, to help locate leaks. It is used to help determine if leaks are occurring and pinpoint their location. It uses
microphones that listen to the main and determine how long it takes the noise
to reach each sensor and can give a distance to the leak.
Click on the Watermain Breaks per Year graph below and see how our preventive programs are making a positive difference.
Leaks in our homes and businesses
There are many areas to check for leaks within our homes and businesses. You can find more ideas here. Leaking taps also cost money and can waste a lot of water. Below gives you an idea of how much water a dripping tap can waste.
More Information and Resources
City of Lethbridge Water Resources
Water Conservation and Home Protection
Additional Water Resources