How to Test for Leaks


To test for leaks in your plumbing system, manually turn off all indoor and outdoor water use fixtures. Check and record the numbers and the position of the sweep hand on your water meter. Wait at least 15 minutes without using water, then recheck your water meter. If the sweep hand has moved, or the numbers have advanced, water is possibly leaking somewhere in your plumbing system. Learn how to read your meter manually.


Small leaks are too slow to move the sweep hand. Turn off the water at the customer valve on your meter and wait a minimum of 15 minutes. When you slowly turn the water back on, if water rushes to fill the pipes, you may have a leak.


Some leaks happen only once in a while. We call these intermittent leaks.

Common causes are:

  • Single control faucets that leak when you don’t center the control before you turn it off (and it drips).
  • Flapper valves in the back tank of the toilet that don’t seat right once in a while. With a slow leak, it only “runs” once in a while and may or may NOT be heard.
  • Garden hoses with a sprayer on the end, and the water is not turned off at the spigot.

Leaks in your irrigation system won't always show on your meter due to their separate shut-off valves. To find leaks, walk your irrigation lines. Check for unusual wet spots, leaky or broken sprinkler heads, and use your meter to measure total irrigation use.


Customers can view water use online via the Eye on Water Portal. This system allows you to see your water use on an hourly, daily and monthly bar graph format. Reviewing your water use will help you be sure your water use shows zero when you were not using water. If you see unexpected use you may have a leak. Go to My Account to begin.

To register for Eye on Water all you'll need is your name, phone number, email address and your 14-digit water account number.


Customers are responsible for the maintenance of the water pipes on their side of the water meter. It is the customer's responsibility to fix or contact a plumber to fix leaks on their property. The San Lorenzo Valley Water District does not provide leak repair or leak detection services. Use this leak guide for more information on fixing leaks.


If you have had a leak that has caused your water bill to substantially increase, SLVWD provides a leak adjustment per account every five years, applied up to two consecutive billing periods.

To apply for a leak adjustment, please submit the leak adjustment application and proof of repairs to our Customer Service Department. Proof of repairs can consist of a repair bill, receipt for parts or a picture of the repairs. Upon determining that the leak has been repaired, your bill for the affected billing period may be adjusted by fifty percent (50%) of the usage in excess of your annual average usage.