Troubleshooting High Water Use

water leak

If you feel that your water usage is higher than expected, it's a good idea to check for leaks in your home.  Water leaks can happen all at once, or start small and get worse over time.  An unchecked leak can, unfortunately, generate a large expense for the homeowner, so the sooner they can be identified the better.

Check for Running Toilets

The most common source of leaks is a toilet.  Check all toilets for leaks by placing a few drops of food coloring in the tank and letting it sit for approximately 15 minutes.  If the dye shows up in the bowl, then your toilet has a leak from the tank.  Leaky toilets can usually be repaired inexpensively by replacing the flapper mechanism in the tank.

Check for Leaky Faucets

The next places to check for leaks are sink and bathtub faucets.  Dripping faucets can usually be repaired by replacing the rubber O-ring or washer inside the valve.

Check for a Running Sump Pump

A water-powered sump pump is an emergency backup pump that helps keep your home dry if your primary sump pump fails to operate or there's a power outage during heavy rainfall.  When this happens, and water starts rising above the primary pump's float, it automatically starts working.  If a backup sump pump gets stuck on, it can be pumping out water constantly without the resident even being aware.

Other Common Leak Sources

  • Leaking hot water heater
  • Hose left on
  • Leaking hose bib
  • Undetected broken pipe in a crawl space

Request a Leak Check

If you find that none of your toilets, sinks, or faucets are leaking, you may wish to request a leak check.  Water works personnel will come to your home on a scheduled day and time to perform this check.  They will not enter your home unless the water meter is located inside.  It is preferable for someone to be present at the home to ensure that no water is being used inside (washing machine, dishwasher, etc.).  

To schedule a leak check, please contact MCUS at (217) 762-2583 or  Appointments can be scheduled Monday through Friday between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.  Leak checks are provided as a free service to MCUS customers.

**If you have an emergency regarding your water service after hours or over the weekend and need water service turned off for repairs, please contact the Piatt County Sheriff's Office at (217) 762-2121**