District News Articles



    Does your toilet sound like it’s flushing itself? No, it’s not haunted, you most probably have a flapper problem that causes your toilet to release water all on its own. And that ghostly running toilet can add up to a big waste of water in your home and is one of the leading things that will drive your water bill higher and higher.


    WaterSense - a partnership program with the Environmental Protection Agency - estimates that household drips and leaking toilets waste up to 1 trillion gallons of water every year nationwide. That’s enough water to fill nearly 12 Dillon Reservoirs - Denver Water’s largest body of water.


    “The best place to look for leaks is in the bathroom,” said Wale Williams, a water conservation technician for Denver Water. “We find them all the time in toilets, faucets and showers, and a lot of times people don’t even know they have a leak.”


    Rubber toilet flappers are one of the biggest culprits of leaks in the home. Flappers - rubber valves that hold and release water from the tank - are prone to mineral buildup and decay over time which allows water to pass through. The leaks cause toilets to run continuously and waste hundreds, even thousands, of gallons of water every year.


    You can identify a leak by placing food coloring or a dye tablet in the toilet tank. If you see color in the bowl after about 20 minutes, the toilet flapper is leaking and needs to be replaced.


    Flappers are inexpensive and easy to replace. “They have them at the hardware store and can be installed in a few minutes - anyone can do it,” Williams said. Don’t forget to check the pull chain to make sure it has enough slack.


    Another common problem in older toilets occurs when the float arm is not adjusted correctly and water leaks down the overfill/refill tube. These small leaks can waste 100 to 250 gallons of water every day. This problem can be fixed by adjusting the float arm.


    Don’t fall prey to a spooky water bill this Halloween. A little vigilance in ghostbusting for leaks goes a long way from turning a scary water bill into a friendly one.