Water Efficiency and Conservation

We bet you’ve heard of the 3R principle of waste management; Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. However, did you know that there’s also a 4R principle for water efficiency?

The 4R Principles of Water Conservation


One of the best ways to help you conserve water and reduce your monthly water bill is by checking fixtures and appliances for leaks.

Signs you might have a leak:

  1. hearing running water and drips

  2. Pooling water under sinks and appliances
  3. rust along pipes and water heaters
  4. Discrepancies in the reading of your home's water meter. Check your online water data for unusual consumption that might indicate leaks.

If you do have a leak, you will need to play detective to find the source. The most likely culprits are:

  • Toilets
  • faucets
  • showerheads
  • service lines
  • sprinkler systems

Check out this 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.

Bathroom Kitchen
Toilets: Listen for running water and conduct the food colouring 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 in 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.  
Laundry or Utility Room Basement or Utility Room
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.  
Outside Throughout the House
At the spigot: Ensure tight connections with the hose and see if the hose washer needs replacing. Check for signs of moisture or mould 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% less water and perform as well or better than standard models.


The most common leak culprit in homes - Toilets

Did you know that a standard toilet will account for, on average, roughly 30% of the total water used in a household? Toilets also happen to be one of the most common places to find leaks in your home. This means that the potential for wastewater is quite significant when leaky toilets are left unaddressed. The good news is that many toilet leaks can be fixed by the average do-it-yourself plumber.

How does a toilet work?

When we flush the toilet, the handle lifts the toilet tank flapper, which allows water to flow through the tank's drain and into the toilet bowl. As water drains and the water level in the toilet lowers, this causes the flapper to close, sealing the tank again and allowing it to fill with water for the next use.

Possible culprits of a leaky toilet include: