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Texas’s excessive summer heat and dry, thirsty lawns are the main reason why most residents will experience higher water bills this time of the year. But what can be done when your summer water bill is a little too high? Check out these tips to help you identify and address the potential causes of a high water bill:
Check for Leaks: One of the most common reasons for a high water bill is a leak somewhere in your plumbing system. Look for visible leaks in faucets, toilets, pipes, and fixtures. Listen for running water or hissing sounds that might indicate a hidden leak.
Monitor Your Meter: Turn off all water sources in your home (faucets, appliances, etc.), then check your water meter. If it continues to move, there might be a hidden leak. Note the reading, wait a few hours without using water and check again to see if the reading has changed.
Damaged Irrigation System: Most sprinklers run at night or in the early mornings when it is harder to see if there’s a broken sprinkler head shooting out water. Do a test run of your sprinkler system or hire an irrigation specialist for a check-up. If you use a landscaping company, ask if they have increased the amount of time your irrigation system runs.
Toilet Leaks: Believe it or not, a running toilet can waste a significant amount of water. Even a toilet running for just a week will have a big impact on your bill. If you have toilets in areas of the house you don’t often use, check to make sure they aren’t in a constant state of refill.
Seasonal Changes: Be aware of seasonal changes that might naturally lead to increased water usage, such as filling a swimming pool or increased gardening.
Higher Usage: Most of us can’t remember how much water we used a year ago, but very often what might seem like high usage on your current bill matches what you used in the past. Check out your usage from one year prior to see if they match up.
Consult a Professional: If you're unable to identify the cause of the high water bill or if you suspect a hidden leak, it's a good idea to consult a licensed plumber. They can perform a thorough inspection and help you pinpoint the issue.
We get asked regularly if high water bills can be caused by a broken water meter, but that is highly unlikely. An unusually high water bill is most often caused by a leak or change in water use. Addressing the cause of a high water bill promptly can help you save money and conserve water. Regular maintenance and vigilance can prevent water from being wasted and ensure the efficient use of this resource.
For an easy way to monitor your household and irrigation water consumption, Westlake residents can use EyeOnWater. This program shows your usage on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis and uses the same meters and communication devices that we use here at Town Hall to monitor usage and send bills.