How Much Do Water Leaks Really Cost?

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When it comes to residential and household leaks, toilets, faucets and outdoor irrigation are the most common culprits, although any water using device can eventually leak.

Water is measured in cubic metres (m3).

The average Calgarian uses approximately 7 m3 every month.

1 m3 = 1,000 litres

7 m3 = 7,000 litres

For 2018 each cubic metre costs $3.15*

Leaks can range in size. A chain caught under a toilet flapper can waste 3 m3/month. A leak this size could increase your bill by $9.45 each month. If the water level in the toilet tank is too high and overflowing into the overflow tube or the flapper is completely lifted it can waste up to 1,200 m3/month. A leak this size could increase your bill by $3,780.48 each month.**

In the case of a leaky faucet, the size and cost of leaks can range as well. One drop per second can waste 2.5 m3/month. A leak this size could increase your bill by $7.87 each month. A small stream of water can waste 15 m3/month. A leak this size could increase your bill by $47.26 each month.

A steady flow of water accidentally left running can waste 360 m3/month. A leak this size could increase your bill by $1,134.14 each month. ***

Use your water meter to check for leaks. In Calgary most water meters are installed inside the house where the water pipe enters your home. This is usually in the basement, near your main water shut-off valve.

  1. Turn off all taps and water appliances (dishwashers, washing machines) in your home.
  2. Watch the flow register on the face of the meter. The register could look like a gear (round or triangular, black or red) or a needle depending on the model of meter you have.
  3. If it keeps turning, you have a leak somewhere in your house.
  4. Check all water using devices, such as your taps, humidifier, hot water heater and water softener for leaks.

For more information and our high consumption checklist visit Calgary.ca/waterleaks.

Volume of water can vary based on type of fixture and water pressure. Assumes a 30-day billing period.

* Based on 2018 water rate ($1.6652/m3) and wastewater rate ($1.4852/m3) for Calgary. Not including service charges.

** Based on modeling of possible flow rate of 1” diameter residential service line.

*** Based on a 2.2 gallons-per-minute tap aerator as per bylaw requirement.