Toilet Leak Challenge

In celebration of the EPA’s “We’re for Water” initiative, beginning in March each year Citrus County Utilities challenges 3rd, 4th and 5th grade classrooms to test home toilets for leaks. Using dye tablets provided by the utility, students county-wide join the annual event.

“What a great opportunity for students to learn firsthand how a small leak wastes hundreds of gallons of water each (day),” said Gwen Hunt, fourth grade Forest Ridge teacher. Hunt is correct. According to EPA Water Sense, one leaky toilet can waste up to 200 gallons a day.

In 2018, Mrs. Zoucha’s 3rd grade Lecanto Primary class took the initiative a step further by also testing the school’s toilets. She said her students felt like experts taking part in the collaborative effort to track down leaks.

Each participating class is entered into a chance drawing to win a pizza party. The drawing is conducted by the Citrus County Board of County Commissioners chairman. Two pizza restaurants, Papa John’s Pizza in Inverness and Angelo’s Pizza with locations in Inverness and Hernando generously offer to donate each year.

All residents are encouraged to test their toilets for leaks. Simply add several drops of food coloring to the toilet tank. Wait fifteen minutes. If the color appears in the bowl, there is a leak. Flush to remove all dye after testing.

Toilet leaks are often caused by flapper deterioration. The flapper is the rubber device that opens and closes to allow water into the toilet tank. When a flapper does not fit snuggly, water leaks from the tank into the toilet bowl, and then goes down the drain without the need of flushing. Flappers usually cost less than $20 and are simple enough for the average homeowner to replace on their own.

Because we want to ensure water supplies last for future generations, Citrus County Utilities is doing its part to save water. Learn more about saving water by visiting and take the I’m for Water pledge.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created “We’re for Water” as a national campaign to educate consumers about water-saving behaviors and WaterSense labeled products.

To request supplies for the Leak Detection Challenge, email and indicate your name, school and number of students.