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Water loss prevention for swimming pools

Swimming pools can account for significant water loss if not maintained regularly. Often times, pool owners may not be aware of the problem, nor how to detect or adjust equipment in order to prevent further water loss.

The following information provides guidance on how to determine if your pool is leaking as well as address issues with the auto fill valve (AFV). The AFV is commonly the malfunctioning equipment responsible for a pool’s water loss.


To test if your pool is leaking:

1. If your pool has an automatic fill valve, make sure it is fully turned off.

2. Place a bucket on a pool step.

3. Fill the bucket with pool water to about three to four inches from the top, matching the water level in the bucket with the level of the pool.

4. Mark the water levels on both the inside and outside of the bucket.

5. Wait 24 hours.

6. If the pool water has dropped faster than the bucket’s contents, you may have a leak. Contact a pool professional for help.

Perform this bucket test every three months and learn how to detect pool leaks. Leaks are most commonly found in the lining, pipes/pipe joints, pump, or plumbing. Wet or damp areas around the pool pump or filter may indicate a leak as well.


Auto fill systems use a float to maintain a consistent water level, similar to what you would find in a toilet tank. If the valve malfunctions, or the water level is higher than the overflow outlet, your leveler may be constantly adding water to the pool.

Here’s what to check:

· Make sure the fill line is always in the on position. It can usually be found near a hose bib or in the equipment area.

· Open the lid to the auto fill and observe the float is working properly. Lightly push it down to see if it adds water, or lift up to see that it stops adding water.

· If your water level is too high, try to adjust the float downwards by either bending down the arm with the float on it, or unscrewing the locking ring/wing-nut and pushing the float up or down on the main tube.

—Information provided in this article provided by WaterSmart Software

For questions or additional information, please contact Municipal Services at 209-668-5590 or visit the City’s website at Brought to you by the City of Turlock Municipal Services Department.



Report water waste: Whether we are in a drought year or not, it is never okay to waste water. If you observe water wasting activities, please contact the City of Turlock Municipal Services Department at (209) 668-5590 or report it online at