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High Bill FAQ's

High Water Bill? High Water Usage? There are several possible reasons for this.

Landscaping 70% of water use is outdoors
  • Water consumption may increase in the summer months because of the hotter, drier weather. Check your irrigation timerMake sure the timers on your automatic sprinklers are not set for too long or too often. After power outage, recheck the settings on your timers.
  • Minimize pruning for optimum plant health
  • Watering your lawn during the coolest and calmest part of the day minimizes water loss due to evaporation and wind.Early morning or after sunset are the best times to water. The Weather page of your local newspaper lists the amount of water needed weekly to maintain your lawn.
Other areas to check
Make sure all your faucets turn off completely. Even a slow drip can use as much as 5,000 gallons a month. A steady stream can mean an increase of up to 21,000 gallons a month on your billing statement.

Evaporative Cooler
An evaporative cooler can use as much as 500 gallons of water per day if it doesn't have a recirculation pump. Even if there is a recirculation pump, the water level float can stick, causing water to run out the overflow.

Water Softeners
  • Water softeners, water filters, water heaters, and automatic pool fillers also have water level floats that can stick open. (This may not be apparent if the overflow is piped into the drains.) If you suspect one of these appliances is the problem, turn it off and redo the meter test. If the usage stops, you have identified the source.
  • An automatic pool filler can disguise any problems you might have with the pool. Occasionally, shut the filler off and see if the pool level drops more than it would with normal evaporation. For example, a pool 20' wide and 40' long will lose an average of 3500 gallons of water per month to evaporation. (This is a yearly average and will be higher in the summer and lower in the winter.) That would result in a seven inch drop in pool level in a month or about 1/4" per day.
  • A toilet running continuously can use as much as 4,000 gallons of water per day! Even a slow, silent leak can add gallons to your bill. Put a few drops of food coloring in the tank and see if it seeps through to the bowl. If it does, replace the flapper valve and/or the rubber gasket at the bottom of the tank.
  • Use your meter to help you manage your water. Read your meter before and after different water activities such as irrigating your lawn, filling your pool, washing your car, or doing a load of laundry or dishes. For instance, determine the water consumption used when you water your yard. Multiply that by the number of times you water per month. This shows you what portion of your monthly water bill is used on your lawn.
Meter Field Test
If you have done the leak check and feel the problem is with the meter, call us. We can have your meter field tested for accuracy. However, once a meter begins to fail, it usually reads less water, not more. Please note that there is a $30.00 US charge for the test if the meter is accurate. Please check all your other options before asking for the field test. If you have a leak at your water meter or wish to report a leak on City property, please call Water Resources at 623-333-4400. To report leaks on private property or abuses of water use, please call Water Resources at 623-333-4400 or the Police Department at 623-333-7000. Your sewer rate is based on your water consumption in the prior December, January, and February. If you have a leak or refill your pool during those months, you need to fill out a sewer adjustment form. If you disagree with your sewer amount or would like to request a sewer adjustment form, please call our Water Billing Department at 623-333-2005.For questions about your bill, please call Water Billing at 623-333-2005.

Your Water Meter
Your water meter is an instrument that is designed to provide many years of reliable service. Most meter problems are the result of vandalism or tampering. If you find that your meter is damaged, call us and we'll replace it.

How to Read Your Water Meter
Water meters are usually located in the front yard. Remove the meter box lid with a screwdriver. Lift the meter face cover. You should see a dial similar to an automobile odometer. The numbers on that dial represent the read. Consumption is read by 1,000's of gallons. The two zeros on the meter hold the place of the 1's and 10's.

How to Check for A Leak
If you suspect you may have a leak, here's how to confirm your suspicion. Turn off all the water consuming appliances inside and outside of your home. Read your meter. If the numbers are turning, water is flowing through the meter. Locate the turn-on valve to your house. It is usually attached to the spigot in the front yard. Turn the valve counter clockwise. Read the meter again. If the numbers are still turning, there is probably a leak in the yard, between the house and the meter.

Water Wise Drip Calculator
Use this fun page to determine the amount of water lost by even small water leaks. This Waterwiser Drip Calculator is presented by the American Water Works Association. Even a small leak can lose many gallons of water and cost you money!