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WW-INQUIRY: High Bill/Consumption

Explains minimum use, how to check for indoor leaks, and eligibility for leak adjustments.

Why is my water usage unusually high?

  • Every monthly bill statement shows a history of billed water usage.   If your bill shows elevated water usage, the Utility recommends the following steps:
    • Check for leaks.  The most common leaks are dripping faucets, running toilets, running water softeners, water heater leaking, etc.
      • One basic test that the customer can complete without assistance is to do the following:
        • Make sure all water sources such as washer, dishwasher, shower, faucets, etc. are all off and no toilets have recently been flushed.
        • Locate water meter (basement, crawl space or utility room)
        • Look to see if the dial or numbers on the meter are registering (moving).  If so, water is registering and there is probably a leak somewhere.
        • If you believe a toilet is leaking somewhere, you may pick up one free dye tablet package from Utility customer service office at 125 W Colfax Ave.
        • If a leak is detected, it is the responsibility of the customer to hire a plumber to investigate.  The Utility does not investigate indoor leaks.

Why is my bill so high when I use little water?

  • Water charges are structured with minimum use requirements by meter size.
  • Sewer charges are a combination of a base sewer charge determined by meter size, regardless of usage. There is a usage fee per 100 cubic feet in addition to the base charge which is the same for all customers.
  • An inside-city customer with a 5/8" meter will pay about $38 in monthly water and sewer charges even if no water is used.
  • Minimum use/base charge rate structures are a common way for utilities to fund the fixed costs associated with making the services available.
    • This is similar to paying the same cable bill regardless of how much television is watched.

Can I get a leak adjustment if I discover a leak in my home/business?

  • The Utility charges for all water that passes through the meter.
  • Residential Customers (including Multi-Family accounts):
    • The Utility does not offer leak adjustments, but will assist with payment arrangements should any customer receive a large bill due to a leak.
    • Residential sewer charges are maximized based on average use during the most recent winter quarter.  Customers who experience a leak during the winter months that may artificially increase their sewer maximum for the rest of the year may submit a written request to the Utility to review and adjust the winter quarter.
  • Non-Residential Customers:
    • May be eligible for a leak adjustment on the sewer charges only if there is sufficient evidence provided to the Utility that the leaked water did not enter the sewer system. 
    • Requests for sewer adjustments must be submitted to the Utility in writing.  Necessary documentation includes:
      • All customer contact information and service address;
      • Description of the issue, including dates. For example: running toilet, water heater was rusted and leaking, etc;
      • Description of when the leak was fixed and any receipts related to the repair.  If the customer/property-owner completed repairs themselves, provide plumber invoice or anything showing proof of repairs; and
      • Proof and/or documentation that the leaked water did not enter the sewer system.
    • A Utility Supervisor will monitor the account for at least two billing cycles following the stated date of repair to verify that consumption has returned to normal. 
      • If consumption has returned to normal, the Utility may credit 0%-100% of the excess sewer charges, depending on the percentage of water that has been shown to the satisfaction of the Utility not to have entered the sewer system. 
    • Additional eligibility requirements:
      • Consumption is at least double average usage;
      • Consumption is at least 20 CCF more than average usage; and
      • Total consumption is at least 30 CCF.
    • Adjustments are made to no more than two months’ bills.
    • Customers are limited to one leak adjustment every two years.

For 311:

If the customer is adament there are no leaks in the home and that the reads cannot be correct, please forward to the Utility for further investigation.

Please do not discuss meter codes found on the consumption screen, as they are finicky and unreliable.

Review any "CCHU" call entries in Naviline.

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