Outdoor Leak Detection

Cocoa Utilities meters can be read to tenths of a gallon. Simply watch the triangle or the large sweeping hand on the meter's face. A movement of one-tenth of a gallon every five minutes means that you are losing 868 gallons a month. If you have a digital meter, the number that comes up after the current meter reading indicates how many gallons per minute are currently passing through the meter. With everything off it should be 0.00.

Irrigation system leaks

Leaks in your irrigation system won’t always show on your meter due to their separate anti-siphon shutoff valves. Walk your irrigation lines checking for unusual wet spots, leaky or broken sprinkler heads. Use your meter to measure total irrigation use.

Irrigation System Zone Evaluation

Ask yourself:

  • How many days a week does the irrigation system run?
  • Are you aware that there are water restrictions?
  • Is there a working rain sensor device on the irrigation system?
  • Does it run on the proper days?

Turn you irrigation system on using manual mode. Run it through each zone checking for the following:

  • Make sure the spray heads are not watering hard surfaces like your driveway.
  • Don’t over water your lawn. To promote strong root growth and drought tolerance in plants, water deeply and infrequently.
  • Place an empty tuna can on your lawn to catch and measure the water output of your sprinklers. Water only 3/4 of an inch each cycle.
  • Water during the early morning and the late evening. There is generally less wind and lower temperatures and therefore less water lost to evaporation.
  • If there isn’t a rain sensor, there should be. It’s required.

Hose irrigation

Turn on your hose sprinkler and watch the meter for one minute. Now you know how many gallons per minute your hose sprinkler uses. Hose sprinkler ________ gpm X ________ minutes per day = ________ total gallons per day used for irrigation.

  • Locate all hose bibs and check for leaks and drips. Replace washers if there are any leaks.
  • Never leave the water running when using a hose. A hose nozzle with shut-off switch can save hundreds of gallons.
  • Use timer when using a hose sprinkler so you don’t forget and let it run for hours.
  • Plant drought resistant trees and shrubs and minimize turf areas.
  • Raise your lawnmower blade to at least three inches. A lawn cut higher encourages grass roots to grow deeper.

Pool and pool equipment leaks

Your pool will naturally lose some water to evaporation and splash-out. If you routinely add more than two inches of water to your pool per week, you may have a leak.

Unsure of your evaporation rate?

Place a bucket of water beside the pool and mark both the water in the bucket and the pool water level. Wait 24 hours, then check the loss of both. If the pool loses more water than the bucket, then you have a leak.