Regional Water Providers Consortium: Finding & Fixing Leaks

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A small leak in your bathroom is a big waste of money. Tammy Hernandez met with Amy Meaut – a Project Specialist with Hillsboro Water Department – to learn about simple ways to check for leaks and easy ways to fix them too.

  • Ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day.
  • Common types of leaks found in the home are worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves.
  • These types of leaks are often easy to fix, requiring only a few tools and hardware that can pay for themselves in water savings.

1. Start your search for leaks in the bathroom where about 50% of indoor water use happens. First, check your toilet by dropping a leak detection tablet or food coloring into the tank.

Toilet leaks are very common and can waste hundreds of gallons of water in a month. Sometimes they are easy to find because you can see or hear them. But, others harder to find because water flows through the tank silently. This test will catch even the sneakiest leak.

2. Second, check your faucet and shower for drips.

Drips may not look like much, but they can add up. Faulty washers are often the culprit because they don't allow your faucet to shut off properly. Replacing them is an easy and inexpensive (less than $1) way to recoup water and money savings.

3. Third, check the rest of your home’s faucets for leaks.

4. Fourth, circle back to your toilet. If you see no color in the bowl after 10 minutes your toilet is leak free. If there is color, you have a leak.

If you do find a leak, the next step is to fix it as soon as you can. This is where the water savings come in. The good news is that many times dripping faucets and leaking toilets are easy and inexpensive to fix.

Get more information on how to fix these common and other common household leaks at