It could be that you’ve received your latest water bill from the utility company and you’ve found a rather unwelcome surprise. If your water bill has seen a sharp spike in price, you may be wondering what caused it and how to prevent having such a high bill in the future. In this post, we’ll discuss common causes of high water bills and how to reduce your usage.
What Are Common Reasons Your Water Bill Would Exceed Your Expectations?
Your water bill is calculated by multiplying your usage by a set dollar amount per unit. The only way that your bill will go up is if one of these items has changed. Here are some possible scenarios that could cause your water bill to go up markedly:
- Your utility has raised the rate per unit, resulting in a higher bill.
- Your utility has added a service charge to the bill.
- Your water usage has gone up markedly because of known usage such as filling a swimming pool, watering the lawn or having house guests for an extended period of time.
- Your water usage has gone up markedly because of an unknown usage such as a leak or even a known drip whose water usage you underestimated.
What Can You Do To Solve Them?
How you solve the immediate problem has to do with where the problem is coming from. You need to pay your bill, but exactly when it is paid may have some leeway to make things easier for your household expenses:
- Talk to your water company about sudden changes in unit price, especially if there was no previous notice about the upcharge. They may be willing to negotiate with you in this instance.
- If there are service charges you don’t recognize, call the water company to see if they were billed onto the correct account. If there is a high fee that you are responsible for, ask if it can be broken down over a few months.
- If your usage has gone up significantly, you need to find out where you are losing water. Once you’ve figured out the problem and are working on getting it fixed, approach your utility company and ask if they can work with you now that you’re getting the problem fixed. They may be willing to spread the charges out over two to three months if necessary if you’ve been a reliable customer in the past.
What Are The Most Effective Ways To Reduce Your Water Bill In The Future?
Now that you’ve gotten an idea about how much water was used, how can you reduce that consumption in the future? Here are some fixes you can do on your home, some simple, some complex, some free or inexpensive and some that require a significant investment, and how much they can save you based on information from the Kirkland, Washington public works department:
- A toilet constantly running water into the overflow tube can waste up to an astounding 259,000 gallons per month, filling almost half of an Olympic-sized swimming pool! By keeping your toilet in good repair or upgrading to a properly working low-flow or dual-flush toilet, you’ll see significant savings!
- Your washing machine, though not typically a source of a sudden spike, still goes through significant amounts of water if it’s a top-loading model. Did you know that front-loading washers use 1/2 the soap and 1/3 of the water of their top-loading counterparts?
- Any dripping faucets can go through up to several hundred gallons of water every month.
- Watch your special usage issues! Significant amounts of water are used filling pools, doing pressure washing or other occasional events.
- Watering your lawn can go through up to 400 gallons of water within an hour, and leaks can cost you up to half a million gallons of water a month. Next time you re-seed your lawn, go for a drought resistant variety.
Founded in 1984, Terry’s Plumbing has continued to grow annually by giving clients the high quality service and products demanded by both law and, most importantly, our customers. Contact us to discuss your plumbing issues, and remember, “Don’t Go to Bed With That Drip Tonight.”