Potential Causes of High Water Usage

An unusually high water bill is most often due to a leak or change in water usage.  Some of the common causes of high water usage includes, but are not limited to, the following:

• A leaking toilet, or a toilet that continuously runs after being flushed  
• A dripping faucet; a faucet drip can waste 20 gallons of water per day or more
• Filling a swimming pool
• Watering the lawn, new grass, trees or plantings
• Kids home for summer vacations or school holidays or guests
• A broken water pipe or obvious leak inside or outside of the home
• Water heater leak
• Water softener problems-cycles continuously

Generally, water consumption is higher during the summer due to watering lawns, pools and gardening. Typically, an average family of four utilizes 8,228 to 9,724 gallons of water per month.  Here are a few things to check if your usage is higher than usual:

Changes in your water usage- Did you have guests, water your lawn more than usual, or do anything else out of the ordinary in the months of higher usage.  If so, this may account for an increase in your water bill.

Check for leaks, whether unseen or unfixed, can waste hundreds even thousands of gallons of water.  It is important to routinely check your plumbing and home for leaky faucets, toilets, and outside taps and irrigation lines.

Toilet and faucet leaks- The most common cause of high water bill is running water from your toilet.  A continuously running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons per day.  This can double a family’s typical water usage.  Some leaks are easy to find, but not always.  

What can I do if my bill is unusually high? 
If you receive a bill that you feel is too high, check over the commons causes listed above.  This may help to pinpoint the source of the excess usage.  Most often, the  Utility Department will detect unusually high bills and our Customer Service representative will automatically send our utility staff to notify the homeowner.  If you feel that your bill is too high and you have not been contacted, please contact our office at (815) 469-2177.  A Utility Department staff member will gladly schedule for a meter reading to be re- checked.  If the meter reading is checked and found to be accurate, you may need to contact a plumber or other professional to help determine the source of the leak. Property owners are responsible for all private water lines from the b-box (shut off valve usually located in the parkway) to the residence and for leaks inside of the home.