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How to Find A Water Leak

NOTE:  DO NOT shut off Company meter valves.  If you do not have a customer shut off valve and need your water turned off, please call the Company office at 760-615-4050, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or the Utility Duty Phone at 760-525-0364 after office hours.  A Utility Worker will gather the information and report accordingly.


Do I have a leak?

If you suspect a leak, the easiest way to confirm is to check the reading on your meter by taking the following steps:



  1. Make sure all faucets and water-using appliances, inside and out, are turned off.

  2. Check the reading on your meter.  Your water meter is underground in a rectangular box with a green lid, usually found near the street.  There is a small dial, which moves clockwise.
    NOTE:  Anytime you remove the lid on a meter box, be careful as there are wires connecting the lid and the meter.  Also be aware of snakes resting in the meter box.

  3. Without using any water, wait for approximately 30 minutes.  Then recheck the meter.  If the hand has moved or number has changed, water is leaking (or running) somewhere on your property.


The most common cause of a small leak is a toilet.  You may place a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank.  If any color appears in the bowl, the toilet is leaking. 


If you need assistance to locate your water meter or test for leaks, please contact the Company office at 760-615-4050.

"Silent" Leaks and "Unexplainable" Water Usage

Any number of factors can contribute to water consumption and they are not always explainable.  However, when water passes through your water meter, you, as the property owner, are responsible for payment.


"Silent" leaks, which often occur in toilets, are known to cause a serious increase in water consumption, but can, over a period of time, correct themselves.  Hence, the term "silent".  They cannot be heard and usually can only be detected by dropping a dye tablet or food coloring into the toilet tank.  If the coloring reaches the bowl of the toilet, it indicates a leak.


Sprinkler systems can fail and run slowly without being detected.  If there is thick groundcover, a leak may allow water to seep into the ground and not be discovered for several months.



How To Read Your Water Meter


Your water meter is underground in a rectangular box with a green lid, usually found near the street.  To get to the meter, you can open the cover carefully with a large screwdriver.  During the summer months, please be aware that snakes do occasionally like to lie inside the meter boxes. You may also find the meter covered with dirt- usually placed there by gophers.


Water meters are read like a vehicle's odometer.  Simply read the number across the counter.  They also have a small dial which moves clockwise.  Check the position of the hand on the water meter dial and the number on the counter and record the reading.

The image below represents the type of water meter the company installs.















Leak Detector: Every meter has a Triangle/Leak Detector
This triangle rotates whenever water is flowing through the meter.  If you turn off all your water fixtures and this triangle is moving, you have a leak.


If you need assistance to locate your water meter or test for leaks, please contact the Company office at 760-615-4050 or by email and a Utility Worker will be called to assist you.



How To Turn Off Your Water


If you have a leak and need to turn off the water to your house, follow these steps:


  1. Locate your master shut off valve (which is usually where the water line comes into the house or near the water heater) or your customer shut off valve (which is in a separate meter box approximately 2 feet from the Company's meter box).  If you do not have a customer shut off valve, you may consider installing one as it is best to turn off your water as close to the meter as possible.

  2. Depending on the type of valve, turn it clockwise until tight or rotate the handle so that it is perpendicular to the pipe.

  3. If you cannot locate or turn off the valve, please call the Company's office at 760-615-4050 to have a Utility Worker turn off the meter for you.  Please do NOT shut off Company meter valves.  For after hour emergencies, call the Utility Duty Phone at 760-525-0364, 24 hours/day, 7 days/week.
    Make sure everyone in the family knows where and how to turn off the water to the house.



Water Quality Information


Rancho Pauma Mutual Water Company's water is of relatively high quality, but requires treatment by disinfection to meet the State and Federal drinking water regulations.  In California, our water is treated under the State Department of Public Health requirements as specified in Title 17 and Title 22 of the California Health and Safety Code and Chapter 7 of the California State Drinking Water Act.  We currently have chlorination stations on four of the six potable well sites and the storage reservoirs as well.   Water quality testing is done on a regular basis at all 13 well sites, and 5 designated sample sites throughout the Company's service area.  The State requires the Company to periodically test the water and report the results to its customers which it does each year in a Customer Confidence Report.


Company's Annual Water Quality Report:





How to find a water leak
How to read yor water mete
How to turn off your water
Water quality
Consumer Confidence Report
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