Fix a Leak Week

What is Fix A Leak Week?

Municipalities all across North America celebrate Fix A Leak Week during the third week of March, to increase awareness of the billions of gallons of water leaked annually nationwide.

The processing, distribution and collection of municipal water and wastewater is the most energy intensive of any municipal operation. Therefore, any loss of treated water due to leaks, equates to a loss of energy as well. To remain in alignment with the Community Emissions and Emergency Plan’s (CEEPcommitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 it is important that we all try to do our part to minimize water loss from leaks.

A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 11,400 litres of water per year. That's the amount of water needed to take more than 180 showers!

Fix a Leak Week encourages us to be mindful of water conservation and helps develop positive habits that reduce water wastage!  With nearly 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water globally, it is important that we do our part to conserve and protect one of Earth’s most precious resources. 

How to Participate


1. CGS Fix a Leak Contest

All across North America, municipalities are hunting down leaks and searching for solutions to water loss. If you’d like to win a FREE Rain Barrel from EarthCare Sudbury, remember to participate in our CGS Fix A Leak Contest!

Step 1

Fill out the online survey by March 31 to receive ONE ballot for the draw.

Step 2

Include a photo of your Toilet Leak Dye Test at the end of the survey, to receive an additional TWO ballots!

Find out if your toilet is costing you money and test your toilets for leaks this month!

How to use the Toilet Leak Testing Kit

A leaking toilet, a toilet that constantly runs, isn’t always obvious and can add extra charges to your water bill. A leaky toilet may be caused by an old or worn-out flapper. Some toilet repairs may require the assistance of a licensed plumber.

To help Sudbury residents save water and money, FREE Toilet Leak Testing Kits are being offered at all CGS Library locations throughout the month of March!

Step 1

Carefully remove the toilet tank lid.

Step 2

Place one dye strip in the toilet tank. It will dissolve.

Step 3

Replace the tank lid and wait 20 minutes. Do not flush during this time.

Step 4

After 20 minutes, check your toilet bowl. If the water remained clear, it’s good news! Your toilet doesn’t leak. If the water in the toilet bowl has changed colours, your toilet is leaking. Flush the toilet to remove the dye.


  • Each package contains enough dye strips to perform two tests.

  • Alternatively, you can place 10-20 drops of food colouring inside your toilet tank in place of the dye strips. Red or green food colouring works best.

2. Be a Leak Detective

No one wants to pay for water they don’t use, and leaks can cost you up to 14% of your annual household water bill.

The best way to check for overall leaks is to use your water meter!

Follow these simple steps to determine if you have a leak.  It’s best to do this during a quiet time of day when you don’t expect to use water for 30 minutes.  You can also do this test overnight if you know that no one in the house will use any water throughout the night.

Step 1

Choose a time period when people are least likely to need to use water so you can complete the test uninterrupted (it’s best to warn everyone in the house!)

Step 2

Locate your water meter.


  • It’s important for everyone in your house to know where your water meter is and how to shut it off in case of an emergency. 

Step 3

Write down the numbers on the face of the water meter.

Step 4

Wait 30 minutes – make sure no one uses any water or flushes any toilets during that time.

Step 5

After 30 minutes, take a second reading from your water meter.  If the numbers have changed, you probably have a leak. 


If you have a leak, you will need to play detective to find the source. The most likely culprits are toilets, faucets, showerheads, service lines, and sprinkler systems. Check out this handy guide based on information from the EPA to help you chase down your leaks. If you are unable to determine the source of the leak, you may need to contact a plumber.

Leak guide
Toilets: Listen for running water and conduct the food coloring test described on the first page. Faucet: Listen for drips and tighten aerators or replace fixtures if necessary.
Faucets: Listen for drips and turn on the tap to check for water going the wrong direction. Sprayer: Check to make sure water is spraying smoothly and clean openings as needed.
Showerheads: Turn on and look for drips or stray sprays that can be stopped with tape. Under the sink: Check for pooling water under pipes and rust around joints and edges.

In the tub: Turn on the tub, then divert the water to the shower and see if there’s still a lot of water coming from the tub spout; that could mean the tub spout diverter needs replacing.

Appliances: Check for pooling water underneath dishwashers and refrigerators with ice makers, which could indicate a supply line leak.
Under the sink: Check for pooling water under pipes and rust around joints and edges.  

Under the sink: Check for pooling water under pipe connections.

Water heater: Check beneath the tank for pooling water, rust, or other signs of leakage.

Clothes washer: Check for pooling water, which could indicate a supply line leak.



At the spigot: Ensure tight connections with the hose and see if the hose washer needs replacing.

Check for signs of moisture or mold on your walls, ceilings, or floors. This could indicate that a pipe is wreaking havoc behind the scenes and requires the attention of a professional.

In-ground irrigation system: Check for broken sprinklers or nozzles spraying in the wrong direction.

If any of your fixtures need replacing, remember to look for the WaterSense label when purchasing plumbing products. WaterSense labeled products are independently certified to use at least 20 percent less water and perform as well or better than standard models.