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BLOOMINGTON - More than water may be draining down your toilet.

A leaking toilet can be a money drain. But how do you know if your toilet leaks?

Kathleen Emery of Bloomington's water billing office has a simple suggestion: "Put some sort of dye into the toilet tank and see if it floats into the bowl within 10 to 15 minutes."

If it does, there's a leak. Your best option may be calling a plumber, Emery said.

Another way to discover a water leak is to check the water meter reading after you go to bed and immediately after you wake up. If the reading is higher and nobody has used water, you've got a leak.

There are some variables, however - furnace humidifiers and ice makers.

That's why Emery prefers dye in the toilet tank.

A toilet leak can end up increasing a water bill as much as $300 to $400 a month, she said. Emery recommends monthly dye testing because users cannot always hear leaks, which sometimes are signaled by toilets whose flush cycles never seem to end.

Sink faucets are prone to leaking as well, Emery said, but they seldom use as much water.

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