How to find and fix leaks

The 3-step leak check

Step 1: Ask people in your home not to use water while you do the test, and make sure that there is no water being used in your home i.e. that the washing machine is not on.

Step 2: Go to your water meter and take a reading of the last two red digits on your water meter - write down or take a photo of the reading.

Step 3: Wait 5 minutes – remember not to use any water during this time. Take a reading of the last two digits in red. If there was any movement of the dial, you may have a leak - even the smallest movement can add up to a lot of wasted water over a year.

Did your meter move? This could indicate that you may have a hidden leak.

Reminder: It’s a good idea to try and do the 3-step leak check every few months. Perhaps set yourself a reminder, such as when your bill arrives.

Where should I check for leaks?

  • Leaks can occur regularly in the garden - check for wet patches, green spots, popped off drippers, joiners or disconnections in the garden irrigation system every couple of weeks. For more information, go to: how to fix irrigation leaks
  • Check for dripping taps and showerheads.
  • Leaking toilets can leak far more water than a tap – sometimes up to hundreds of thousands of litres a year being wasted. You can checks by listening for any noise or water movement in the bowl, or by putting food dye in the cistern and seeing if it ends up in the bowl - see the video above for a demonstration.

I’ve found a leak, how do I fix it?

Simple leaks can be easy to fix yourself if you learn how. There are a number of ‘how to’ videos that you can find online to help.

Alternatively, find out who can fix leaks for you:

  • Get advice about fixing simple leaks in your home by talking to your local hardware store person.
  • Identify a local handy person to help fix simple leaks.
  • To have more difficult leaks fixed, contact a plumber.

*If renting, always contact your landlord or property manager and/or check on responsibilities under your rental contract before considering any works.

I’ve found a leak that’s not at home, what should I do?

  • In the street - report it within 48hrs to Power and Water by calling 1800 245 092 or reporting online.
  • At work - report it to the manager and/or maintenance person within 24hrs


Darwin residents are losing a huge amount of water each year in leaks, causing their water bills to shoot up, often with no obvious reason why.