How to Detect Leaks

If You Suspect a Leak

A small leak, about the size of the head of a pin, dripping at one drop per second can add up to seven gallons of water per day. A large leak, the kind most often found in toilets, can waste 200 gallons of water or more per day! Leaks can waste thousands of gallons of water in just a few days. It pays to fix leaks promptly. Check out the following when you suspect a leak:

  • Faucets: Check faucets in the bathroom and kitchen periodically. Most often, worn washers are the cause of dripping faucets.
  • Sprinkler Systems: Broken sprinkler heads or damaged underground pipes are common sources of sprinkler system leaks. Watch your system run at least once per month to spot problems early. Usually, leaks are easy to fix. Do-it-yourself books with easy to follow instructions are available at libraries and stores.
  • Toilets: Check toilets for leaks often. The most common causes of a leaking toilet are float devices set too high, which causes water to run into the overflow tube, or a warped or cracked flapper.

Toilet Leak Kits

Toilet leak kits are available. The kit contains tablets that are dropped into the toilet tank. After the tablets are placed in the tank wait 15 minutes, then check the toilet bowl (remember, don’t flush during this time). If the water in the bowl changes color, you have a leak!

Using Your Water Meter

Use your water meter to determine if you have a leak. Make sure no water is being used inside or outside (there is no clothes washer filling, no shower running, no water running outdoors, etc.). Locate your water meter box, carefully remove the cover, and lift the top of the meter. Find the leak detector (the small triangle on the meter dial). If all of your water sources are off and the leak detector is rotating, you may have a leak.


If you do find a leak on your property the City of Opa-Locka can help alleviate the cost of your wasted sewer by giving one leak adjustment per calendar year for up to three months service, if applicable. The customer must provide a copy of a certified plumbing receipt for the repairs. This should include what the problem was and the date of the repair. We will then place this account on a monitoring period for three months to get an average usage after the repair.

Adjustments When Filling Up a Pool

A rate adjustment may be available for the filling of a swimming pool. Customer must notify the Utility Billing Department prior to filling the pool. A meter reading must be obtained before filling the pool and after filling the pool.