Water leaks can cost you money and waste water. Here is what you can do if you suspect a leak:
Inside the home:
Check the toilets for leaks. Drop a few drops of food coloring into the tank. Wait a few minutes. If color shows up in the bowl, the flapper is leaking and needs to be replaced. This can occur even with new toilets and flappers. Sometimes toilets "run." This is caused by a faulty flushing mechanism and it needs to be replaced.
Check all faucets to see that they don't drip.
Check any exposed pipes for leaks.
Outside the home:
Walk around the house and yard to see if there is a very green spot or any wet spots. However, much of Austin has porous, permeable rock beneath the surface. A leak in your yard may not be evident since the water from the leak may seep down through this layer, rather than collect on the surface.
Check your sprinkler system. Broken heads only leak when the system is operating. Usually a broken head does not add very many gallons to the water usage, unless the sprinkler system is on. A broken pipe on the other hand, can leak when the system is on or off and will add many more gallons to the usage.
Swimming pools with automatic fillers can also malfunction.
If you have a concern, call the Austin Water Utility to check your meter:
The best place to detect a leak is at the water meter outside. Call the Austin Water Utility at 972-1000 to request your meter be checked for any indication of leaks.
While no water is being used, the Water Utility technician will observe the meter's leak indicator or dial hand and note its movement over the span of 10-30 minutes, if the leak indicator or dial hand has not moved, there is no leak.
If a leak indicated, but the location of the leak is not evident, or you are unable to fix it yourself, call a professional, such as a plumber, that specializes in leak detection and repair.
Please be advised that the water meter lid may weigh 12 pounds or 45 pounds depending on which size is installed. Customers should not attempt to lift the lid unless they are physically capable of lifting the lid, and ensuring it is replaced immediately in order to avoid an unsafe condition.