If you have an unusually high water bill, you can conduct a water audit to see where the problem may be. To perform an audit, check the following:
- Is your water meter moving?
- Are there any dripping faucets? Thirty drips per minute adds up to approximately 15 gallons per day.
- Do you have a leaking toilet?
- Is there a leaking irrigation valve?
- Do you have a sprinkler system? If so, is it on a timer? Is the timer operating correctly?
- Were you gone for any number of days during the month in question? If so, did somebody take care of your plants or animals for you?
- Do you have a water softener? Is it the recycling type? Is it operating correctly?
- Do you have an under-the-sink filter system? Is it operating correctly?
- Does the handle on your toilet have to be jiggled to make the water stop running?
- Do you have a hot tub or pool? If so, have you adjusted the float arm lately?
- Did you have your fire sprinkler system maintained?
- Have you repaired any leaking faucets, water heaters, etc., lately?
- Is there a recycling hot water unit? Is it operating correctly?
- Are there any wet spots on the lawn or inside the home on walls, ceilings, etc.?
- If you are a commercial customer (restaurant, convenience store, etc.), do you have a purifying water machine, "serve yourself" machine, or soft drink machine that might need repair or have experience unusually high usage?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then you may have found the source of your unusual water usage. Investigate further.
Check for Hidden Leaks
Make sure that water is not slipping away due to undetected leaks in your system. To check for household leaks, turn off the water inside and outside your home. Observe the test hand (depicted below in blue); if it moves, there is water pushing through the meter, indicating a leak. To locate a leak, try:
- Looking for wet spots that could indicate a leak in the pipe between the meter and the home or the sprinkler system.
- Dropping a dye tablet in the toilet tank. Don't flush. If colored water appears in the bowl, the toilet leaks.
Click here for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, WaterSense Program facts on leaks.