Potential Causes for High Water Bills

Why is my bill unusually high?

An unusually high water bill is often caused by a leak or change in water use.  Some common cause of high water bills include:

  • A leaking toilet, or a toilet that continues to run after being flushed
  • A dripping faucet; a faucet drip can waste 20 gallons of water a day or more
  • Watering the lawn, new grass, or trees; also check for an hose bib
  • Kids home from summer vacations or school holidays; guests
  • Water-cooled air conditioners
  • A broken water pipe or obvious leak; check the pipes in the basement or crawlspace; the water heater could also be leaking
  • Water softener problems- cycles continuously
  • Running the water to avoid freezing pipes during cold weather

Generally, water consumption is higher during the summer due to watering of lawns, pools and gardening.  Typically, an average family of four uses 4,000-5,000 gallons of water a month.  Here are a few things to check if you get a bill that is higher than usual.

Changes in your water use

Did you have house guests, water your lawn more than usual, or do anything else out of the ordinary in the last month that uses a lot of water?  If so, this might account for an increase in your water bill.

Check for leaks

Leaks, whether unseen or unfixed, can waste hundreds and even thousands of gallons of water.  It is important  to routinely check your plumbing and home for leaky faucets, toilets and taps and irrigation lines.

Toilet and faucet leaks

The most common cause for a high  water bill is running water from your toilet.  A continuously running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water.  That can double a family’s typical water use, so fix the toilet.  You can usually hear a running toilet.

Outdoor and underground leaks

Leaks also occur in harder to find places, such as under your house or in the service line between your water meter and your home.  Check outdoor spigots and crawl spaces, and look for wet spots in your yard, which may indicate a leak.

What Can I Do if My Bill is Unusually High?

If you receive a bill that you feel is too high, check over the common causes listed above.  This may help to pinpoint the source of the high bill.