Leaking or constantly running toilets are the most common cause of high water bills, even though they are not always the easiest to find. The best way to check for a leak in the toilet is to add a couple of drops of food coloring to the water in the back tank portion of the toilet. Wait 15 to 20 minutes without flushing the toilet, check the water in the bowl area. If the water in the bowl has changed color, then there is evidence that your toilet needs repair. This also may require several test to discover the leak.
Other possible explanations:
- A change in the number of people in the household.
- New appliances such as a dishwasher, hot water tank, heating system or lawn sprinklers.
- Result of higher seasonal demands, such as filling pools, watering lawns or other outdoor activities.
- It could be the result of a "catch-up" bill. If the meter was misread or estimated on the previous bill, it could result in higher usage and charge when an accurate or actual reading was obtained.
If you find that no toilets, sinks, water heaters, ice makers, faucets or outside connections are leaking, you may wish for someone from the utilities department to check the meter. The Water Utilities Department will not be able to investigate private property. City staff will simply inspect to see if the meter is indicating water flow when the household is not using water to determine if there is another issue.