There are multiple reasons why a water bill might be higher than your average for the same time last year. Here are four common causes of higher water bills.
- Your water use was higher.
The most common cause of higher water use is a change in the way you are using water.
- Did you increase your outdoor watering?
- Did you refill a swimming pool?
- Did the number of occupants change or did you have any house guests?
See the “Rates and Fees FAQ: Your Rates at Work” to understand what you are paying. Sign Up or Login to track your usage and sign up for high usage notifications online. Reducing your water usage may help to reduce your water bill.
- You may have a leak at your property.
The toilet runs. The shower drips. The sink leaks. These seemingly small amounts of water quickly add up.
Here are tips from KC Water and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
Common Indoor Leaks
- Use your water meter to check for leaks.
- Make sure there is no water being used inside or outside the house or building.
- Locate your meter. Your meter could be located inside or outside.
- Check your meter during a two-hour or more time period with no usage. If you meter has a dial with a triangle then the triangle will move if water is going through the meter. If the meter does not have a dial with a triangle then check the digital read. You may need to shine a flashlight on the digital dial to see the read.
Common Outdoor Leaks
- One way to find out if you have a toilet leak is to place a dye tablet (available upon request) in the toilet tank. If color appears in the bowl after 10-15 minutes, you have a leak (Flush immediately to avoid staining the toilet). Usually, replacing the flapper valve in the tank will do the trick. A leaking toilet can waste 4,000 gallons of water per day.
- Leaky faucets can be fixed by checking faucet washers and gaskets for wear and replacing them if necessary.
- A showerhead leaking at 10 drips per minute can waste more than 500 gallons of water per year. That’s the amount of water it takes to wash 60 loads of dishes in your dishwasher. Most leaking showerheads can be replaced by ensuring a tight seal and checking the washer and replacing it if necessary.
- An irrigation system should be checked each spring before use to make sure it was not damaged by frost or freezing.
- An irrigation system that has a leak 1/32nd of an inch in diameter (about the thickness of a dime) can waste about 6,300 gallons of water per month.
- Disconnect & drain outdoor hoses during the winter.
- Check your garden hose for leaks at its connection to the spigot. If it leaks while you run your hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot.
*Please note KC Water customers are responsible for maintaining the water line from their house to the first valve. If you think you have a leak you cannot find or if you find a leak you cannot fix yourself please call a licensed plumber.
- New rates were effective in May.Rates are approved by the City Council annually and are effective on May 1st. Please see Rates and Fees and Understanding My Bill to understand if changes to rates may be a factor in your high bill.
- You are no longer receiving reduced wastewater charges.KC Water reduces wastewater charges for residential accounts during the months of May through December. The reduced charges are based on the assumption that residential customers use more water during the summer months, much of which does not enter the sewer system (e.g., lawn irrigation, swimming pools, etc.). Because wastewater bills are based on water consumption, KC Water uses water consumption from the winter months (appearing on your January through April bills) to calculate the bills that are generated during the summer months (appearing on your May through December bills).