Leaks & Water Efficiency FAQs

What could cause my water consumption to be higher than usual?

First, check for a possible leak inside your home. The most common causes of leaks are dripping faucets or toilets. You can get toilet tank leak detector tablets or place a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. If any color appears in the bowl, the toilet is leaking. If your toilet is not leaking, the next most likely reason may be an outside leak or lack of efficient water use, possibly outside irrigation. The best way to determine if your irrigation system is leaking is by looking at your lawn. If you notice wet spots or pooling of water around your spray heads, this is a good indication that your irrigation system has a leak. If you have a layout of your irrigation system, start tracking the lines to determine the exact location.


How will a water leak affect my water bill?

An undetected or unrepaired water leak can lose thousands of gallons each month which can be very costly. For example:

  • 1/32” drip can waste 6,166 gallons per month.
  • 1/16” trickle can waste 24,666 gallons per month.
  • 1/8” stream can waste 98,666 gallons per month.
  • 1/4” stream can waste 393,833 gallons per month.


What should I do if I think my meter is reading incorrectly?

Water meters very seldom register fast, however if you feel there may be a problem, call us at our office as soon as possible. We may be able to explain the problem or aid in detection of possible leaks in your household plumbing. We can also send an operator to check your meter.


If I suspect a leak, how do I confirm it?

If you suspect a leak, the easiest way to confirm it is to check the reading on your meter by taking the following steps:

  1. Make sure all faucets and water-using appliances, inside and out, are turned off. Leave the master valve open.
  2. Check the reading on your meter. Your water meter is located in the basement or in some of the older homes it may be located outside in a meter pit. There is a small dial, which moves clockwise.
  3. If there is no water being used inside or outside the home and the meter continues to move or “creep” it is often indicative of a leak or drip somewhere in your home’s water system.


If I have a confirmed leak in my home, what should I do?

You will first want to shut off the water source to stop the leakage. While repairing most in-home leaks is actually very easy, such as a toilet, you might want to consult with a licensed and insured plumber/contractor. During normal office hours, you can call our office in Dickinson at 701-225-0241 or call toll free 1-888-425-0241. After hours we have an answering machine that will give the number of the on-call operator’s pager.


Do you have more information on water leaks?

Yes, there is a very informative video located on our Videos page. It was produced by the American Water Works Association called “Detecting and Silencing Leaks” and should answer most of your questions.