Leak Troubleshooting

water-pipe-g5d9d73631_1280: Image by Holger Schué from Pixabay

How to troubleshoot a leak

Some quick things to check that are common issues:

  • A toilet that continues to run after flushing
  • Wet spots in your yard that may indicate your sprinkler system or the line to your house is leaking

You may wonder how the meter checks for leaks

Here is the logic that it uses to do that

“Leak Detection: Leak monitoring is constant. As a standard, the leak flag is triggered after 48 hours of continuous water movement. The leak flag will turn off if no water movement occurs for a period of 1 hour to ensure that the utility is not wasting resources addressing a leak that was in reality high usage.”


How to test for a leak

Your meter will be in a black plastic box most likely at the street in one corner of your property. Here’s a picture of what it looks like:

In most cases you’ll only see the top of the box. Most often, there is a box for you and for your neighbor close together. The box closest to your house should be yours. There is a cover on the box that can be pulled off. It can be a little hard to pull off, but don’t worry it won’t break anything by pulling off the cover. Maybe wear gloves in case there are unfriendly critters in the box. Not all the meters are exactly the same, but below is a sample picture of a meter. While doing the test make sure no one in your house is using water. If you see a number greater than zero in the flow rate (circled in red in the picture below) AND the number of gallons is showing you may have a leak somewhere. Please note that the screen changes to give more information alternately. Only look at the flow rate when the number of gallons is showing (as the picture shows below). The other flow rates displayed are the minimum and maximum. The higher the number the worse the leak is. 

You can determine if the leak is in the line between the meter and your house by shutting off the water at the main valve at your house. If the flow rate continues when the house valve is shut off there’s a leak in your underground line somewhere between the meter and your house. If it stops and then resumes when you open the valve at the house you have a leak in your house or in something connected to your house water supply.

I had a leak and my bill is huge, can you help me out?

We certainly can! If you have a receipt for plumbing repairs done by a professional or parts and a picture of the repair if you did it yourself, we can help you out with a large bill. Here’s how it works:

  • Send images of your receipts and a description of the leak to operations@wswsc.org
    or mail hardcopies to
    2312 Whitewater Dr
    Bertram, TX 78605
  • Make sure to include your name and the account number found on your water bill.
  • We will adjust your bill as follows:
    • Calculate the prior three months average usage
    • Calculate the average usage at normal rates
    • Calculate the total usage less the three months average at our wholesale rate of $2.00/1,000 gallons
    • You will be billed the sum of your three month average usage at normal rates plus the difference between actual and three month average usage at wholesale rates
  • If you pay by automated bank draft – If we receive the information by the 25th of the month it will be reflected in your automated bank draft for that month. If after the 25th it will be a credit to your account. 
  • If you pay by check – If we receive the information by the first of the next month you can pay the reduced amount. If after the first of the following month you will need to pay the full bill and the adjustment will be credited to your account.