Water Leak Detection

Water leaks can be expensive. You can check for leaks to avoid surprises on your water bill. You'll save money. Bonus: you'll save water, too!

You might need to hire a professional to find and repair a leak. If your leak is severe you might want to turn the water off to prevent damage. If necessary, the City can turn the water off at the street. Call 311 or 616-456-3000, and we'll help you through that process.

Think you have a leak? Take a look at these common leak types:


Place a few drops of food coloring into the tank after it has filled and quieted, then watch for color to appear in the toilet bowl.  If there is a leak, then color should appear within 15-30 minutes.  Two common leak sites are at the overflow pipe and the flapper valve. It's usually a cheap fix, but if you aren't comfortable doing the work yourself, you may want to contact a licensed plumber.

Check faucets for leaks at the faucet head and seepage at the base and its connections.  A leaking faucet is often the result of a bad rubber washer. If you do not feel comfortable making repairs yourself, you may want to contact a licensed plumber.

It's important to know that the underground service line is the property owner's responsibility. Leaks in underground plumbing can be caused by many different factors but here are a few signs to look for:

  • Wet spots in landscaped areas and/or water pooling on the ground surface
  • An area that is green, moldy, soft, or mossy surrounded by drier conditions
  • A notable drop in water pressure/flow volume
  • A sudden problem with rusty water or dirt or air in the water supply
  • An irrigated area that is brown, dead, or dying when it used to be thriving. This happens when the water pressure is too low for sprinkler heads to pop up properly
  • Heaving or cracking of paved areas
  • Sink holes or potholes
  • Uneven floor grade or leaning of a structure
  • Unexplained increase in water use on your bill
  • Consistently high water use
  • Water use that has been climbing at a steady rate for several billing cycles

The City will replace a lead water service line that is leaking at no cost to the owner. If you suspect a leak on a lead water line, contact us at 311 or 616-456-3000. Say that you have a water leak on a suspected lead water line, and we will help you through the process.