If you have noticed a drastic increase in your water bill and know your household hasn't changed its usage, you may start to suspect that you have a leak somewhere. If so, look for the following signs that the issue is caused by a slow leak in your home's water main.
Low Water Pressure Throughout Your Home
Whenever you have a leak somewhere in your plumbing system, one of the first things you may notice is low water pressure coming out of your faucets. The location of the low pressure can help you determine whether the issue is caused by a broken pipe inside your home or the main line feeding the house.
If you notice that you have low pressure in your kitchen but have a sufficient amount of water coming from your bathroom faucets, the leak is probably due to a cracked pipe close to your kitchen.
However, if your entire house seems to have lower pressure than usual, the problem is probably a cracked water main. Because some of the water is leaking out into the surrounding soil, not enough is reaching your home to give you adequate pressure.
Areas in Your Yard Are Always Wet
After determining that you have a widespread water pressure issue in your house, walk around your property to look for areas in your yard that are wetter and soggier than the rest. Since water is probably leaking out of the main line, it has to go somewhere.
If your water main has a leak, it will seep into the soil enough to keep the ground wet. However, since it is leaking out slowly, the soil has enough time to absorb some of the moisture, so you may not see any obvious puddles.
When the ground is saturated, it will feel squishy when you walk upon it. You may even see some water come up around your feet. Also, the grass will be greener than the rest of your lawn thanks to the extra moisture.
Of course, if you suddenly see water rapidly collecting or running out into the street, the small crack has busted open. In this case, call the water department immediately so they can turn off the water at the main hub. Then, contact a plumber as soon as possible to have it fixed.
If you have noticed the above signs, you most likely have a leak somewhere in your water main. Contact a plumber and make an appointment for them to inspect your plumbing and discuss your options for water main repair.