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Save Our Water Marks Fix a Leak Week with Helpful Tips on How to Spot and Repair Leaks

Man holding wrench while fixing a bathroom sink pipe.

Published: 14 March 2022

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Save Our Water is encouraging Californians to check for common household water leaks this week as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) annual Fix a Leak Week. According to data from the EPA, household leaks can waste nearly 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide and an average household's leaks can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year. In California alone, about 8 percent of household water use is wasted due to leaks, according to the UC Davis Center for Water-Energy Efficiency. Many common household leaks inside and outside the home are easy to identify and fix.

Common types of leaks found in the home include worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets and other leaking valves. Outdoor leaks are also common, especially in landscaping irrigation and sprinkler systems, as well as garden hose connections to spigots.

Save Our Water created a five-step checklist to help Californians find and fix leaks inside and outside their home. Tips for finding leaks include:

  • Review household water usage, especially in colder months when outdoor irrigation should be limited. Look for any big changes in water use.
  • Check water meters before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes, it is an indication of a potential leak.
  • Identify toilet leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If any color shows up in the bowl after 10 minutes, you have a leak.
  • Examine faucet gaskets and pipe fittings for any water on the outside of the pipe to check for surface leaks.
  • Look for pooled water or wet spots around the yard - it could be an indication of leaking irrigation. Dark green grass around sprinkler heads is also a sign of leaks.

“Identifying and fixing leaks around the house is an easy and effective way to save water,” said Ryan Bailey, Water Use Efficiency Branch Manager, California Department of Water Resources. “With California entering a third year of drought following a very dry January and February, Fix a Leak Week is a reminder that we all need to do our part to conserve by looking for, and addressing, water-wasting leaks.”

To address the issue of leaks, especially leaks resulting from aging infrastructure, DWR has partnered with the California Rural Water Association to offer free leak detection surveys for small and Tribal water systems who serve less than 3,000 connections.

Since the 2012-16 drought, one of the lessons learned was that small and rural water systems often lack the resources to address drought impacts. By signing up for a free leak detection survey, water systems will receive onsite assistance from an experienced leak detection specialist in identifying infrastructure leaks through advanced computer leak correlation technology and guidance in corrective measures and next steps.

Small and Tribal water systems who are interested in scheduling a free leak detection survey can contact Ruby Viramontes with the California Rural Water Association at to get started.

As communities across the state grapple with drought, now is the time to strengthen conservation efforts and make active changes to save water, especially in our homes and yards. Homeowners and renters can visit Save Our Water’s website – available in English and Spanish – and subscribe to the Save Our Water YouTube channel for tips, tools and inspiration to conserve water.

More information on Fix a Leak Week:

More information on EPA WaterSense:



Hayley Carbullido
(916) 833-6076          


About Save Our Water: Save Our Water is California’s statewide water conservation program. Started in 2009 by the California Department of Water Resources, Save Our Water’s goal is to make water conservation a daily habit among Californians. The program reaches millions of Californians each year through partnerships with local water agencies and other community-based organizations, social marketing efforts, paid and earned media, and event sponsorships. Please visit and follow @saveourwater on Twitter and @SaveOurWaterCA on Facebook.