Councillor’s Corner- Preventing Water Leaks

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Our community continues to benefit from major local investments in water mains and storms sewers, however this article deals with the pipes within your home.

Most households will notice that their water bills are highest during the summer months. Showering more often, watering plants, and hosting visiting friends and family add to water consumption.

A major (but avoidable) cause for higher water bills are internal leaks, usually from a toilet.  These leaks can add hundreds or even thousands of dollars to a water bill.

In the past, water bills were estimated if residents did not send in their readings often leading to a surprise bill in the future especially if the home had a leak somewhere in their internal plumbing. Since the installation of electronic water readers in our homes, the City is able to monitor household water use in real time.  A program analyzes water consumption, and when it detects something unusual, a letter is mailed to the resident warning them of a possible problem.

Although a major improvement over the past, this system cannot completely protect a homeowner against leaks.  For instance, the program may not be able to detect small leaks, residents may not notice the warning letter, and more.

The best form of protection is to be proactive in searching for leaks in your home.  Leaks can appear in many forms. Dripping faucets are common and easy to catch.  Leaking toilets will often make noise as the bowl is constantly having to refill the lost water. Other forms of leaks are harder to detect and may only be discovered when it is too late.

To be safe, check your water meter from time to time at night and note the consumption then compare it to your morning reading. If no water was used overnight, then there should be no increase in consumption. If the reading is higher, than you may have a leak.

If you suspect you have a leak and you are unable to find it, make sure to call a plumber immediately. As well, 311 is available 24 hours, 7 days a week if you should wish to report any water issues.

The city also has more information available in 311’s online Knowledge Base in the water billing section.

A new online tool, called MyWater Toronto, also allows you to check your daily water consumption through your computer or mobile device at http://www.toronto.ca/mywatertoronto

As always, if you have any questions, my office is available for information and assistance at 416-338-5335 and/or councillor_perruzza@toronto.ca.