I live in Florida and I recently had a high water bill over $300 dollars in April. Every night the city cleans the streets. There is a fire hydrant on my property. The sweeper truck takes water from the hydrant to use to clean the roads. Is it possible that the fire hydrant may be the cause of my high water bill? I do have a big yard and irrigation lines for my lawn and garden. To my knowledge nothing is leaking. Can you tell me what to do in this situation? What else could be the cause of a high water bill?
The fire hydrant being used by the city is not the reason for your huge water bill. You have a water meter that is attached to the outside of your house. Your water meter only sees the water you use in your home or yard. The hydrant water is from a city line and is completely separate from yours.
You need to consider the month and hot weather when you have a high water bill. If it is a summer month, then water usage is usually always higher. Is there more people in your home taking showers and washing clothes? Did you recently plant a garden that needs lots of water? Did you fill your swimming pool recently? Have you been watering your lawn excessively? Do you clean your porch or patio with the garden hose? Consider everything.
If your bill is over what it normally is for that particular month, you may have a leak. The best way to find out if you have a leak is by using your water meter. Meters have an indicator that shows when water is flowing. You will need to turn off every water source in your home to do this test. Turn off bathtubs, showers, faucets, etc. Be sure major appliances are not running while you do this test. That means do not use the dishwasher or washer at this time. Once you are SURE you have everything off, go and look at the water meter. Your water meter should not be moving either mechanically or by numbers if digital. If the meter is indicating water usage, you most likely have a leak somewhere on your property.
Your water meter will look similar to this one.
Possible water leaks could be:
1. Garden irrigation lines.
2. Water spigot valve on outside of house.
3. A leaking toilet valve.
4. A water line under or around your home.
The above types of water leaks are difficult to spot. (besides leaky toilet) Check everywhere possible and do your best to find where the water may be leaking. If you find the leak, repair it if possible or call the city or utility company if it’s a water line issue. Some city’s are responsible for this and some are not. If the water leak is under your home, a professional will need to access your situation.
Water usage in an average home
After you find the water leak and it is repaired, you need to contact your water utility company. They may take some of the money off the bill if there is excessive water usage because of a leak. As long as you let them know you isolated the leak and repaired it they should be able to work with you to adjust the bill.
Do you know of any other ways a water bill can be higher than normal? Please leave a comment below.