What causes high water bills?

The number one cause for a high water bill is a water leak. Leaks can occur anywhere on your plumbing system, irrigation system, kitchen, bathroom fixtures, etc.  Sometimes leaks are visible and sometimes they are not. You can do a quick check to determine if you may have a leak by doing the following:  •Turn off all inside and outside water.  Go to the meter, if the meter is registering usage, you have a leak.  •If you have a shut off valve at the house, turn the water off at the shut off value, go to the meter….if the meter is moving, that would indicate the leak is outside the house. If the meter has stopped moving, that would indicate the leak is inside the house.

Toilet Leaks - The most common leak is a toilet leak. Toilets can run without visible or audible evidence. A malfunctioning toilet can cause your water to continually run into the bowl and if undetected, it can cause a high water bill. Replacing your internal toilet mechanisms annually can help prevent this type of leak.  To help detect a toilet leak, you can do the following test. 1.  Remove the tank lid of the toilet.  2.  Flush your toilet as usual.  3.  Drop about 4 to 5 food coloring drops in the toilet tank.  4.  Replace the toilet lid and wait 30 minutes.  5. .Survey the toilet bowl, if the water is colored, there is a leak. 

Sprinkler Systems - Sprinkler systems are another common source of leaks. The system may have a malfunctioning sprinkler timer that is running your system longer than you planned or for more days than you intended. Also, an underground leak in a sprinkler system that is not visible above ground would only affect your usage during the time the sprinkler system is being used. Monitoring your meter readings daily for a period of time may help you determine if the leak is in your irrigation system. Keep track of your readings and calculate your usage on days you use the sprinkler system versus those days you do not use the system. You can also do a meter reading before and after running your sprinkler system to get a clearer picture of your water usage for the sprinkler system alone. 

Underground Leaks - Many leaks occur underground and can leak thousands of gallons without visible evidence. Some companies and plumbers have underground leak detection devices. When consumption is higher than normal, the City does a re-read of the meter. When the reread is done, a visual check for evidence of leakage as indicated on the meter is also done.

Show All Answers

1. How is my water bill measured, read and billed?
2. How do water meters measure water usage?
3. How does the City read the water meters?
4. How accurate are the water meters?
5. What causes high water bills?
6. How many gallons can a small leak use during one month?
7. Why is my meter box full of dirt?
8. Who to call with questions or high water bill concerns?