- Public Works
- Utility Division
- Detecting Water Leaks
Detecting Water Leaks
High Utility Bills:
If you have an abnormally high utility bill, the most likely cause is additional water consumption caused by an undetected water leak within the home. Water leaks within your home can be extremely costly and can easily add an additional $500 to $1,000 in water and sewer charges onto your quarterly utility bill. In fact, a running toilet can use up to 5 gallons per minute or 7,200 gallons per day. At this rate, a running toilet would use 648,000 gallons of water over a three month billing cycle which would result in water and sewer utility charges of over $5,700.
Studies show that dripping faucets and leaking toilets account for as much as 14% of all indoor water use. If you are unable to determine where the leak may be occurring, please call the Water Division at 815-748-2050. One of our water service technicians would be happy to assist you in locating the leak. We can also offer additional information on ways to help you reduce your water consumption in an effort to lower your utility bill.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. Check the flow indicator on the top of the water meter (small blue disk). If the blue disc is turning, water is being used somewhere within the home. If you notice the disc turning, but cannot account for the water use, you may potentially have a leak.
Check for Leaky Toilets
The most common sources of water leaks is the toilet. On average, 20% of toilets leak. Check toilets for leaks by placing a few drops of food coloring in the tank. If after 15 minutes the dye shows up in the bowl, the toilet has a leak. Leaky toilets can usually be repaired inexpensively by replacing the flapper. In addition, insure that the water level in the toilet tank is set about ½” below the overflow level. Water that is continuously running over the overflow can be very costly and would not be detected by adding food coloring to the tank.