Leak Detection

Leaks Header

Where do I start?

Did you know that household leaks can waste nearly 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide? Here's what you can do:

  • Download a free DIY Leak Check Guide and Checklist to inspect your property. 
  • Check your toilets! SMWD has sent every residential customer blue dye strips to test your home toilets for leaks. See the video below for instructions.
  • Contact us! We are here to help. Phone: 949-459-6593 / Email: efficiency@smwd.com


If you find and fix a leak, tag us on social media @smwdwater & @smwdnews.

DIY Leak Check App!

Avoid Surprises on Your Bill

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This interactive guide will step you through how to check your home for leaks.

 Download and use a "paper" guide; click the link below.

Single Family Residence or Multi-family Residence


Just like a car odometer measures miles, the meter tracks how much water you use. It can assist you in finding plumbing leaks, as well as provide information about how much water you have recently used. One full rotation of the red sweep hand is 1 cubic foot, or 7.48 gallons. SMWD bills customers in increments of 100 cubic feet (CCF). So 1 billing unit (1 CCF) equals 748 gallons. The meter to the right reads 4 CCF.

You can track your meter reads daily or weekly to monitor your water use.

Water Meter


Find your water meter

Look for movement on the meter

NOTE: Turn off all faucets and water-using devices inside and outside your home.

The triangle located on the face of the water meter is the low-flow indicator – it will spin if any water passes through the meter. Because you have turned off all water-using devices, the triangle should be completely motionless.

Isolate the water flow 

If your water meter's triangle is spinning, you can check for leaks by turning off your house main shutoff valve. If the triangle stops spinning entirely, the leak is indoors. If the triangle continues to spin, the leak is outdoors (e.g. sprinkler system or main line).

House Valve & Pressure Regulator

House Valve

Toilet Leak

Toilet Tank


Toilets are the most common source of indoor leaks. Perform a simple dye tablet test for leak detection.

✔ Put dye tablets in the toilet tank. Wait 30 minutes without flushing. If colored water appears in the bowl, you have a leak.

✔ Check to see if the toilet flapper falls down and seals completely. Rubber flappers degrade over time. The flapper may be in need of replacement or a simple cleaning.

✔ If you notice that water is flowing into the overflow tube, you have an overflow leak. Adjust/lower the fill valve (or float) in order to lower the water line within the tank. The water line should always sit below the top entrance of the overflow tube.

✔ Make any necessary adjustments/repairs to the flapper or fill valve.


The average single family residence uses 50% of there water outdoors in the landscape. Water your landscape efficiently with our Watering Guide.

Water Use Pie Chart