Roanoke Stormwater

Curious to know more about how to fix a water leak in your home?

In continuing with Fix-A-Leak-Week, The Western Virginia Water Authority has shared these key leak detection strategies to help you track down leaks.

The Western Virginia Water Authority's wireless meters now record consumption throughout the day and night.  If the meter records a continuous high flow in consumption, the billing department gets a “flagged report,”  so they can notify the customer. This means that they can quickly notify customers about leaks to prevent water loss and potential property damage. 

Because the Water Authority uses wireless meters, they do not recommend customers to open the meter covers because it can be hard to get the electronics positioned correctly when closing the lid. This often results in meter lids sticking up as tripping hazards. The Western Virginia Water Authority will gladly tell customers their most recent meter readings to see if a higher than normal flow is occurring. Call 540-853-5700 or email [email protected].

You can also view and monitor your water consumption based on your billed consumption data by visiting Water Authority's web portal (under > View and Pay Your Bill). In the Roanoke Valley, the average family uses just under 5,000 gallons of water per month – a lot lower than the EPA stated national average of 12,000 gallons of water per month.  You can see your water consumption as graphed on the Customer Web Portal.  If your consumption starts creeping up and you haven’t had an increase in the number of people in your home (like when your teenage daughter comes home from college!), done extra laundry or watering outside, you should start investigating for leaks.  If you have unexplained high consumption, start investigating for leaks well before that amount of consumption shows up.

Now comes the favorite and easiest way to find a leak, the toilet test. These leaks often start out really slow and then progress to larger leaks. Because it is best to detect and fix them before they get big, the Water Authority recommends that the food coloring or kool-aid method is used. Simply place coloring in the toilet tank of a very minimum of 30 minutes or preferably left there overnight. Wait or in the next morning check the bowl to see if the color seeped in. Even if it is a small leak, fixing it now can save you time and money before it gets worse. 

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