Information on Leaks

Reporting Leaks

When you find or see a leak that you believe is not on the customer's side of a meter, please call 910-455-0722 immediately and follow the prompts to report the leak.  

Detecting Leaks

When a customer requests that water service be turned off in order to repair a leak, ONWASA may charge a one-time service call fee at the current rate as outlined in the Rate and Fee Schedule.

If ONWASA detects a leak on the customer side and customer is not at home, a notice will be left on the door with the issue and how to proceed and water will be shut off at either the meter or hand gate valve.  If able to locate the area of the leak, it will be marked with a flag for the ease of repairs. 

Reconnection will be made at reasonable times and as rapidly as conditions permit.

Bill Adjustments

ONWASA understands that customer water line leaks happen. In order to reduce the burden of these unexpected expenses, ONWASA may provide a 50% reduction of the usage cost of a leak once every 12 months, provided certain conditions are met. Customer services staff members are available to provide guidance on how this program works for the benefit of our valued customers.

In addition, there shall be no adjustment for sewer services billed at a flat rate for third party billing.  

No more than one adjustment shall be made in any 12 month period.

Any customer requesting an adjustment for a leak shall notify ONWASA of the existence of the leak and provide evidence of its repair and submit the Leak Adjustment form.

Finding a Leak

Leaks are the silent water wasters inside and outside our homes. A dripping faucet or constantly running toilet is fairly obvious, but hidden leaks - such as those in an irrigation system - could waste more than 100 gallons of water per day.

Finding a leak is the process of elimination. Perform the following tests to find leaks at your home.

Make sure no water is being used inside or out.; be sure to shut off automatic pool filters, sink faucets, washers, and dishwashers.

Locate your water meter

About 90% of all area residential water meters are located in or by the front sidewalk. There should be a white "S" on the road to mark the direction of your water meter (90% of residential water meters are located in the front of the house). Follow the direction of the "S" to find the meter; if there is an arrow by the "S", it will point in the direction of the meter which is located behind or beside the home. Your meter will be in a box under a lid.

Check your water meter for movement

If you choose to look in the meter for a leak, please be mindful that the meter lid can be heavy and that it is not recommended to lift the lid with bare or exposed hands as there is always the chance of spiders, ants, or even snakes hiding under a lid.  Look at the top of the meter. You'll notice a red or white triangle or a red or white gear shape called a flow indicator. (If you have a new Automatic Meter Reader (AMR), it will also have a flow indicator.)

It will move whenever water is passing through it. Once you have confirmed you have turned off all faucets, dishwasher, washing machine, etc., and if the flow indicator is still moving, you may have a leak.

Check your toilets

Shut off one toilet at a time by turning the valve behind the toilet at the wall. In between each shutoff, go out to the water meter and check your flow indicator. If the flow indicator is moving, that toilet is not the problem. Something else is causing a leak. If the flow indicator stopped moving, that means that toilet is the culprit.

Check your sprinkler irrigation system

Shut off the anti-siphon valve that serves your sprinkler system. Check the flow indicator at the water or irrigation meter. If the flow indicator stopped moving, the sprinkler system is the problem.

Check your main service line

If you still haven't found the problem, try checking the main service line:

Find the water shutoff valve to your home. It will be either in your front yard, in your garage, or near your water softener. It could also be inside or outside your water meter box. Diagram for Valves  

Shut off this valve, which will turn off all water to your home. Turn on a faucet to make sure there is no water flowing inside the home, then check the meter. If it's still moving, the leak is most likely between the shutoff valve and the water meter.

If you've found your leak, you may be able to fix it yourself. Repairs to toilets and faucets can be fairly simple, while other leaks may need a professional plumber. Don't get in over your head. If you're not sure that you can fix it, call a professional plumber.  

If you have questions about detecting leaks, call ONWASA at 910-455-0722