How do I know if I have a leak?

Meters are equipped with a leak indicator (see image). To check for a leak, turn off all water (inside and outside). With no water flowing, the dial on the meter is stopped. A spinning leak indicator means water is flowing through the meter. A small drip may not be detected by the leak indicator and is not considered measurable.

The most common example of a leak is a leaking or running toilet - if you have to jiggle the handle to stop the toilet from running, for example. A toilet may leak intermittently and/or silently and may not be detected by the leak indicator. To check for less-noticeable toilet leaks, put a few drops of colored liquid in the tank and wait 30-60 minutes (leak detector tablets are available in our office). If tinted water appears in the bowl, you have a leak.

Other leaks can be found in pipes located in the walls or underground. We encourage you to make necessary repairs so as not to waste water and money.

Leak Indicator

What if I don't find a leak?

In most cases, we are able to profile a meter and provide a report showing hourly usage for a specified billing period. The cost of the report is $40, payable in advance. If the report indicates a leak (24 hourly readings of consistent water use at a minimum of 10 gallons per hour), we will issue a credit for the profile report.

What if I find a leak?

If the leak is located before the meter, the city is responsible for the repair. This leak will not affect your consumption as it is not running through the meter.

If the leak is located after the meter, the homeowner is responsible for the repair. Sometimes, a simple repair can stop a costly leak.

Water Meter Service Line Responsibility

If You Repaired a Leak, You Can Request a Credit

The City of McKinney may offer a credit for increased charges caused by a leak. Proof of repair must be submitted before a credit is issued. The credit reduces the billed water rate to the city’s wholesale rate of $3.30 per 1,000 gallons. The credit is generally less than 30% of the billed amount. 

Estimated Credit Chart

(Per 1,000 gallons exceeding regular usage)
(Effective 10/1/17)
Under 20K Gallons $1.10
20K - 40K Gallons $2.20
Over 40K Gallons $3.30

Request an Adjustment Online


    • Only credits of $5 or more will be issued.
    • To avoid disconnection, payment in full is expected. 
    • The credit is based on your ‘leak consumption’ less your ‘regular seasonal use’.
    • It may take up to 3 months to determine the leak credit.
    • Leak credits are limited to 3 consecutive bills within a 12-month period.
    • The rates in effect at the time of your leak will be used to calculate your adjustment.