Common Causes of a High Water Bill (or Sewer Bill)

Ever open your water bill and immediately have your jaw hit the floor when you look at the number? No? Well we know you know someone who has complained about a very expensive (and unexpected) water bill. High water (and sewer) bills have a lot of causes, including:

  1. Your most likely culprit: a leak
    Sometimes the most obvious answer. Leaks waste a tremendous amount of water and it’s recommended that you call a licensed plumber to fix the issue if the leak is so large it’s showing up on your water bill. Leaks could be caused by a broken water pipe or leaking appliances or toilets.
  1. Reading the meter
    Water meters are usually quite reliable — but like all things, it can be faulty. Sometimes, it’s just a problem with the meter and your water usage is the same. This is the type of cause we can only hope for! If you’re suspicious of this, we recommend calling a utilities company right away.

    • It can be misread
    • It can be faulty
    • It might need to be replaced, which is critical
  1. Other possible causes:
    Aside from the causes listed above — there are some other kinds of causes for a high water bill. For example — An older water meter tends to give people issues. And many times — people don’t know how old the meter is. Also, if you installed a newer meter and noticed change — likely it is due to better performance than the former. Seasonal changes could be to blame — blistering cold winter nights or scorching heat waves can be to blame.

Since high water bills are usually caused by unknown leaks however, it’s important to consider the installation of a leak detection and automatic water shut-off system to know about the leaks — ahead of a very large water bill (and potential water damage in your home).

SOURCES:
http://www.ci.lapeer.mi.us/DPW/Common_Causes_of_High_Water_Bills.pdf
https://www.redbeacon.com/hg/why-my-water-bill-so-high/
http://water.arlingtonva.us/customer-service/resolve-high-bills/
http://www.vbgov.com/government/departments/public-utilities/customer-service/Pages/high-water-bill.aspx
http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/news/displaynews.asp?NewsID=1862&TargetID=10