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Water Leaks

Possible Water Leak Alert

It pays to fix leaks

Leaks waste water and money. A constantly running toilet can use 4,000 gallons of water per day, which if not fixed for a month would add an extra $1,000 to a residential water bill. It pays to fix leaks.

To protect the long-term reliability of our water supply and assist customers in wise water use, the City of Westminster provides tips, free technical assistance to residential customers, and a process to adjust your bill once the leak is repaired. 

Step 1: Determine if you have a leak

If you received a Possible Leak Alert  postcard or letter, your meter registered continuous water use for 24 hours straight. Using water for 24 hours straight usually indicates that there is a leak, but continuous water use can be caused by other things like a swamp cooler, humidifier, or normal business operation. Did you receive an alert and don't have anything that would use water for 24 hours in a row? You probably have a leak.

 

Check the water bill to see if your consumption was higher than last month, or than the same month of last year.

Step 2: Find and Fix the Leak

Leaks can be anywhere, but in our experience, the most common source of unknown leaks are toilets and sprinkler systems. Both are sneaky because they can leak without any clear signs. Check out the tips below to find and fix common leaks. 

Or use this printable leak detection checklist.

 

After you’ve fixed the leak, you can check to make sure it has stopped by contacting Resource Central (see Step 3), or our Utility Billing team at  ub@cityofwestminster.us.


Most leaks found in the winter are due to toilet flappers. Here are the steps to test if your toilet is leaking:

  • First you’ll need a dye tablet or food coloring.
  • Place the dye tablet or a couple drops of food coloring into the water of the back tank of your toilet.
  • Wait at least 10 minutes, without flushing the toilet.
  • Check the bowl of the toilet for any color.

If you find color in the bowl, you have a leak! You can watch the video below (courtesy of the Regional Water Providers Consortium) to see how you can fix that leak and other problems the toilet may have.

Some toilets do not have flappers, but instead have flush valves. Just like a flapper, the rubber or silicone sealing may not be properly closing around the opening that leads to the toilet bowl. This ring can be cleaned or replaced to create a complete seal. For more information on your specific toilet, you can visit the toilet brand’s website.

During the summer months many people use their sprinkler system, and leaks are bound to happen. It is important to check your sprinkler system for any issues at least once a month. The video below gives good directions on how to check if your sprinkler system has a leak. Also remember to take a look at your backflow preventer and valve boxes to see if there is any excess water there as well.

 

Faucet leaks may seem minor, but the water they waste can really add up. Take a look at the videos below from Lowe’s that teach you how to fix several different types of leaky faucets.

If water is dripping from the showerhead when it is turned off, there is an easy fix. Watch the short video from Lowe’s below to learn how to stop the leak.

Bathtub faucets take a little more work, but with the right tools, you too can stop that drip. Below is a video from a double handled tub.

Step 3: Phone an Expert 

The City of Westminster and Resource Central have partnered to provide FREE troubleshooting support if you can't find that pesky leak.

These appointments are short phone calls with a water expert to go over water use history and guide you through some questions that can help identify the source of the leak. At the end of these calls you will be armed with clear knowledge of how to fix the leak yourself, or know you will need additional support to find and fix the issue.

Schedule an appointment online or call 303-999-3820. 

*This service is only for our residential customers because non-residential water uses tend to be much more complex. Non-residential customers may need a professional plumber or landscape maintenance firm to investigate leaks further.

Step 4: Apply for a Leak Credit

We get it. Leaks happen and the cost can add up. The city has a process in place to credit some of the costs incurred on your monthly water bill as a result of a leak. 

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Customers qualify for one leak credit billing adjustment per calendar year
  • Credit application must be submitted within two months after leak occurred
  • Water usage must be 150% above your three-year average for the same time period
  • Leak must be fixed or the accidental use stopped
  • Credit will reduce all excess charges to the Tier 1 rate 
  • Credit will apply to a maximum of two bills
  • No credits to flat-rate customers (multi-family, irrigation customers)

Click here to apply for a leak credit.