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Detecting Water Leaks

There are a couple of reliable methods to determine if you have a water leak.  Take an actual water meter reading.  This method checks the entire internal plumbing system for water leaks.  Take a reading just before going to bed, or when no one will use any water for several hours.  Take another meter reading in the morning before any water is used, or after a few hours of non-usage.  In theory, the two readings should be the same.  If they are not, and you cannot account for use by a humidifier, ice cube maker, toilet flush, or water softener, you have a leak and further investigation is recommended.

From our experience, ninety percent of the leaks in residential plumbing systems are found at the toilet tank.  We recommend against using toilet bowl cleaning discs due to the fact that the chemicals in the discs make the rubber gaskets brittle and allow water seepage.  Add food coloring to your toilet tank and if the die appears in your bowl…you have a leak.  A leaky toilet can waste up to 200 gallons a day!!!

Malfunctioning water softeners and humidifiers should also be suspect if you are experiencing a water leak.  We encourage you to check these devices as well.

Water leaks are costly.  This information is provided as a courtesy with hopes of action on your part, which may minimize an unnecessary waste of water and, most importantly, an expense to you. 

 Your water usage DIRECTLY affects the sewage portion of your municipal utility bill.  The sewage portion of the bill is based on your water usage.  If you plan on extensively watering your lawn during the summer, consider installing a second water meter to your home for outside water usage.  Installing a second water meter would allow for only outdoor usage to be billed without sewerage included.  The cost of the meter is in addition to the cost of your  installation and plumbing by a professional plumber.  If you do a good amount of watering, you will recoup your investment in time.

If you are planning on installing a lawn irrigation system, you must install a backflow protection device as well.  Backflow protection devices MUST BE inspected annually by a licensed backflow inspector and official paperwork must be turned into City Hall.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Union Water Department at 636-583-3522 or Union City Hall at 636-583-3600.