Why Is My Water Bill So High?

There are 3 main factors that contribute to a larger than normal water bill;
  • Rate increases
  • New meter accuracy
  • Differentials between the outside reads and the inside meter reading from the old meter system which has resulted in the discovery of previously used but unbilled water and sewer service

Rate Increases

The City has had large increases to the water and sewer charges over the last several years. This is in response to the system being in poor financial condition.

New Meter Accuracy

The old meters were a mechanical “positive displacement” type which were accurate down to 1/4 of a gallon per minute. Over time they would begin to wear, recording less and less usage, especially at the low flow where leaks occur. The new water meters are solid state design and have no moving parts. These meters are highly accurate, even down to 1/12th of a gallon per minute of flow. This means that small leaks and drips will be recorded.

Inside/Outside Readings

The old water meters were a mechanical pulse design. As water passed through the meter, the inside register would generate a small electrical pulse to advance the outside odometer. In some cases, this pulse would not always advance the outside dial. Disconnected/ broken wires, corrosion, bugs or freezing in the outside mechanism would all contribute to having a difference from the inside (actual) reading to the outside (remote) reading. When the old meter is removed, we send a final bill based on the inside reading. A copy of the final reading of the old meter inside and outside odometers can be found on the work order when the meter was replaced. The contractor leaves a pink copy with the residents, keeps one copy for their file and the City retains the original for our records. This appears as a final calculation on the first water bill sent after the new meter is installed.