What if I have higher water usage and a leak test shows no indication of a leak?

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 a day or more. Some leaks are easy to find, such as a dripping faucet or running toilet. You can usually hear a running toilet, but not always. See the toilet assessment below for help in determining if this is the cause of your high water bill. Routinely check your plumbing and home for leaky faucets, toilets, and outside taps and irrigation lines.

  • Do-It-Yourself Toilet Assessment 
     First, check for the most common leak: a deteriorated or defected flush valve (flapper) ball at the bottom of the toilet tank. If it does not make a tight seal, water will leak into the toilet bowl. To check for this, take the lid off of the tank behind the bowl, flush the toilet, then wait for it to fully refill. Next, put a few drops of dye or a colored dye tablet in the tank. Wait at least 20 minutes and longer if you suspect it is a small leak. If there is any color in the toilet, there is a leak.

The second most common type of leak has to do with an improperly adjusted or broken fill (ballcock) valve. To check for this, take the lid off the toilet tank, flush, and see if water is draining into the overflow tubes when the tank is full.

Outdoor and Underground Leaks

Leaks can 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.

Irrigation Systems

During the summer, irrigation systems are a common source of high water use. Automated irrigation systems should be checked regularly to be sure they are functioning properly and have no leaks or broken sprinkler heads. If a sprinkler valve sticks on, it could waste an extremely large quantity of water. 

Water Softeners

Customers with water softeners have higher water bills due to the regeneration or backwash cycles their systems go through. Systems are preset to regenerate or backwash on a regular basis. Water is used to clean the filter media and discharge the wastewater into the ground next to the system. There are times when these systems will get stuck in a cycle which will cause higher water use.

Changes in Water Use

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

Show All Answers

1. Why are utility rates increasing?
2. How do I calculate my utility bill?
3. What is the difference in wastewater and water?
4. What is the average water consumption per person each day?
5. What if it looks like my water usage has gone up?
6. What if I have higher water usage and a leak test shows no indication of a leak?
7. Why are my sewer charges higher than my water charges?
8. How do I start/stop service?
9. What is the due date for my utility bill?
10. What is the billing cycle? Is it different if you have sewer only?
11. Who do I call if I have issues with the online billing portal?
12. How is a late fee calculated?
13. What do I have to do to restore service if I have been turned off for non-payment?
14. Is shut off day the same day every month?
15. What are my options for paying my bill?