Detecting Water Leaks
Learn how to detect water leaks in your water system to avoid added costs to your water bill.
Make sure you are not overpaying for water due to an undetected leak. You could be paying for water that you are not even using.
Leaks can occur in toilets, pipes, taps, hot water tanks and irrigation systems. Continuous leaks may be costly on your water bill.
Check for Leaks Using Your Water Meter
Watch these videos to see how to detect a leak on your property by using your water meter:
Costs of Water Leaks
Below is an estimate of what your water leak could be costing you.
|A dripping tap||57||1,710||20,805||$23.02|
0.8 mm (1/32 in.) hole in pipe
(e.g. leaking toilet)
1.6 mm (1/16 in.) hole in pipe
(e.g. leaking underground irrigation system)
|3.2 mm (1/8 in.) hole in pipe||14,407||432,210||5,258,555||$5,818.59|
|6.4 mm (1/4 in.) hole in pipe||57,637||1,729,110||21,037,505||$23,278.00|
|12.7 mm (1/2 in.) hole in pipe||250,532||7,515,960||91,444,180||$101,182.99|
2020 Surrey Water Consumption Rate = $1.1065 per 1000 Litres of water (1 cubic meter) as per Surrey Waterworks regulation and Charges By-Law, 2007, NO. 16337, Schedule C
Causes of Water Leaks
Toilets usually result in high volume water leaks. They are hard to detect and are usually caused by worn or misaligned parts. A toilet that continues to run after flushing may waste 20 to 40 liters per hour (480 – 960 liters per day). This is equal to approximately $192 to $216 extra charge on your utility bill per every 4 months.
There are 2 ways to see if your toilet is leaking:
- While the toilet has not been flushed, listen for sound of running water.
- If there is no sound, place a dye tablet or several drops of food colouring into the tank. After 15 minutes, if the water in your toilet bowl is coloured, you've got a leak.
Toilet leaks are usually caused by a faulty flapper, which is what keeps the water in the tank from flowing into the bowl. They are easy to replace and can be bought at a local plumbing or hardware store. If you need assistance, contact a local plumber.
Check all faucets and pipes periodically. Watch for drips and replace faulty parts. A leaking faucet can waste as much drinking water in a single day as the amount required to sustain one person for an entire week.
Leaking Hot Water Tanks
Leaks from hot water tanks can range from small drips to a noticeable amount of water running out from under the tank. If there is any water in the vicinity of the tank or floor drain from the overflow tube, investigate further or contact a plumber.
Leaking Irrigation Systems
Whether you use an in-ground sprinkler system or an above-ground single oscillating head, check it carefully for leaks. The average garden hose delivers 27 liters of water a minute, so a split in the hose or a poor coupling could be wasting large amounts of water. Make sure the outdoor faucet is turned off after each use – even small drips add up to big waste.
If you think your in-ground sprinkler system may have a leak, check for wet patches in your lawn that do not dry. Contact your irrigation system contractor for a system check-up. Note that shutting off your sprinkler system will not correct the problem – you must repair the leak.
Applying for a Leak Adjustment on Your Bill
If you fixed a leak on your property that caused an increase on your utility bill, you can apply for a leak adjustment. Fill out the Leak Adjustment Request Form and email it, along with the required documentation, to show your leak was fixed (receipts, etc.), to Property and Payment Services at email@example.com to apply for your credit. You can also mail in the form or drop it off in person at City Hall or the Surrey Operations Centre.
Note: The City of Surrey is not responsible for detecting or fixing water leaks on private property.