My water bill seems unusually high. Is it possible that I used that much water?

Most customers have very consistent water usage from one quarter to the next. Sometimes summer lawn irrigation can produce some surprisingly high bills especially for homes with automatic lawn sprinklers. If you bill seems high, check the reading on your meter to see if the meter was read correctly by the Water Department. If the reading checks out, there are a number of tests that can be performed to try to find the cause of the additional usage. 

If you have a automatic sprinkler system take a meter reading before a cycle and after a cycle to see how much water is being used each time your sprinkler system runs. 

To see if something within the home is "stealing" water, take a meter reading before you go to bed at night, and then read it when you get up in the morning. If there was water used during the night, there is a good chance that something is leaking somewhere. 

It may be possible that your toilet has a secret leak. You can test it by putting a small bottle offood coloring in the tank of the toilet. Don't flush for an hour or longer. If the colored water shows up in the bowl, the tank is leaking. See chart below for wasted water per quarter at 60 psi water pressure. 

The two main culprits for unintended water consumption within the home are toilets and water softeners. If the flapper valve within the toilet tank is leaking water into the bowl, the tank will periodically have to fill to replace the lost water. This type of situation could go undetected for sometime, resulting in a high water bill. Water Softeners periodically backwash themselves with fresh water to regenerate. Sometimes the backwash valve can get stuck in the open position, causing water to be continuously wasted to the sewer system. This is a situation that very often goes undetected because there is little associated noise created, other than a soft trickling sound in the sewer pipe. This can result in a lot of water being wasted and some really high bills. If you find this happening in your home, turn the feed to the softener off and bypass if possible, and get the unit repaired immediately. 

Little leaks can add up in a hurry. A faucet drip or invisible toilet leak that totals only two tablespoons a minute comes to 15 gallons a day. That's 105 gallons a week and 5,460 wasted gallons of water a year at a minimum. 


Diameter of Stream 

Gallons of Water 

3/16" 1/8" 1/16" 

---------------------------------------------1, 181 ,500 

---- -- -- ------ --- -- ----- - - ------ ---- -- - - - ---- 666,000 

---- -- -- ------ --- - ------- - ------ -- - - - - - - ---- - 296,000 

---- ----------------------------------------- 74,000