The Village of Algonquin, IL

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Leak Detection & Water Conservation Tips

As outlined in the Village's mission and guiding principles, conservation is imperative in order to protect the environment and conserve natural resources such as our groundwater, wetlands, and natural water bodies.

Monitoring Water Consumption

The first step in identifying leaks and determining additional steps that can be taken to lower your consumption is by monitoring water consumption at your home or business. Following the water meter replacement program, this is easier than ever by using the Water Meter Customer Portal. Alternatively, usage can be tracked through close monitoring of bill payments and reading the meter if a leak is suspected.

Please follow these steps and the diagram below to read your water meter.

  1. Locate your water meter. In most cases, water meters can be found in basements, crawl spaces, or mechanical rooms.
  2. Open the protective panel covering the digital display of your water meter. Please be aware the lids may be tight due to the plastic being relatively new.
  3. Once the protective lid is open, you can read the numbers shown on the display.
  4. Begin reading by locating the thousands digit (the fourth digit left from the decimal point). Consumption for utility billing is based on this digit and higher.
    • The three digits to the right of the thousands of gallons digit indicate hundreds, tens, and ones of gallons usage. These digits are used for billing reconciliation once consumption of one thousand gallons or more is reached.
    • If the ones' and tens' digits are moving without your knowledge of a water-using fixture being on, this is an indication that a leak may be present at your residence or business.

water meter diagram

Water and sewer users may monitor and manage water usage near real-time through the Water Meter Customer Portal that is integrated with the software of the Village's water meters. Customers have the ability to access their water usage and setup email and text alerts for high consumption to meet cost-saving goals and detect possible leaks.

Learn how you can access your water meter to monitor your water usage.

Leak Detection

Often, most customers experience a larger than usual bill due to a leak present at their home. In most cases, this is caused by a running toilet which can go unnoticed due to the silent nature of these leaks. Leaks may also occur with other home fixtures like faucets, showerheads, and even outdoor hose spigots. If you suspect a leak is the cause of your higher bill, here are some places you can check: 

Toilet leaks, which are silent in nature, are a common culprit for higher than expected water bills. These leaks occur when the rubber valve seal in the tank, known as a flapper, ages and becomes worn. If the flapper is not seating properly, a constant trickle of water will be released into the toilet bowl which can go unseen and unheard.

If you suspect a running toilet is the cause of your higher bill, here are some steps you can take to check:

  1. Add a small amount (10-12 drops) of dark-colored food coloring into the tank of your toilet.
  2. Wait approximately 30 minutes and check the water in the toilet bowl. If it has changed color, a leak is occurring and the components inside the tank will need to be replaced to resolve the leak.

Faucet leaks typically occur when rubber washers, gaskets, O-rings, or corroded valve seats have failed. These leaks are noticed when water leaks visibly from the handles or drips from the end of the faucet when the water is not turned on.

If you are experiencing a faucet leak and decide to fix it yourself, you can get the correct parts and repair kits from most hardware stores. Just make sure you bring the old parts so they can make sure you have the right parts! Otherwise, a plumber is always a safe option.

Similar to sink faucet leaks, most bath faucet and showerhead leaks result in visible drips from the fixture into the tub. Leaks may also occur in other places, such as the handles to turn the water on and off.

Here are some helpful tips that if you are experiencing a bath faucet or showerhead leak:

  1. Turn the water off to the leaking fixture by locating and turning the valve to its off position.
  2. Try to tighten any fittings that appear to be leaking. In most cases, a slight tightening of a quarter or half turn with a wrench will resolve any small leaks.

Verify that the leak has been stopped once you turn the water valve back on. If it has not, then other factors may be contributing to your leak and further assistance from a plumber or replacement of the fixture may be needed.

Water Conservation Tips

Everyone plays a part in conserving our water resources. Through the use of simple steps and water-saving fixtures and appliances, residents and businesses can help us ensure our water supplies are reliable and benefit from cost-savings on water and sewer utility bills.

Learn more about how you can start saving water and lowering your bill.

  • Peel and clean vegetables in a large bowl of water.
  • Fill your sink or basin when washing and rinsing dishes.
  • Only run your dishwasher when it's full.
  • Install aerators on faucets and water-efficient fixtures and appliances such as WaterSense labeled products.

  • Take short showers instead of baths.
  • Turn of water when brushing teeth, shaving, or lathering soap.
  • Only run your dishwasher when it's full.
  • Install aerators on faucets and water-efficient fixtures such as WaterSense labeled products.

  • Run full loads of laundry.
  • Use an "exact fill" setting our your washing machine.
  • Install aerators on faucets and water-efficient fixtures and appliances such as WaterSense labeled products

  • Only water your lawn and garden when necessary, in accordance with the Village's water conservation guidelines.
  • Maximize the use of natural vegetation and establish smaller lawns.
  • Set mower blades to 2-3 inches high when mowing lawns. Longer grass shades the soil improving moisture retention.
  • Apply mulch around shrubs and flower beds to reduce evaporation, promote plant growth, and control weeds.
  • When washing a car, wet it quickly, then use a bucket of water to wash the car. Turn on the hose to final rinse.
  • Use a broom to clean walkways, driveways, decks and porches, rather than hosing off these areas.