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Concerned About Higher than Normal Water Bill?

Hot, Dry Summers Can Lead to Unexpected Water Bills

Lower than normal precipitation levels can result in extra watering of our lawns.....and a bit of sticker shock when the water bill arrives.

By the end of summer, people are watering less, so when a higher than expected water bill arrives in the mail, it is natural to think a mistake may have been made. The fact is, you are paying for water you used a few months ago. In the height of summer, your water bill reflects spring usage, and when summer is winding down, you may receive a bill that reflects usage during the hottest and driest time of the year.

City Software Program Detects Possible Water Leaks

The software program Arvada uses for utility billing has a number of safeguards which generate exception reports on bills that are higher than normal, indicating possible system links. If one of these safeguards is triggered, the City sends notices to these customers and conducts field inspections on many of the higher than normal readings to confirm that meters are properly functioning and to assist in locating leaks. All water meters are purchased from a national firm that specializes in the development and production of water meters. These meters are equipped with a highly accurate register, similar to a car odometer, and the numbers will only advance if water passes through the meter. Each meter is individually tested and certified by the company.

Do You Hear Water Running?

Some leaks are easy to hear, but others are not. To check for hidden leaks, periodically turn off all water-using appliances in the house. Read your water meter and then check it again after twenty minutes. If the meter reading has increased, you probably have a leak. Check all shower heads, indoor and outdoor faucets, and toilet tanks. Don’t forget to check the hot water heater and behind the refrigerator and washing machine too. Undetected leaks can waste hundreds of gallons of water each month. Fixing leaks in your home is an easy way to lower your water bill and help conserve water.

Locating Common Water Leaks

Water leaks are often due to a toilet flapper or a problem on a sprinkler system:

  • To check for a slow leak on a toilet flapper. Food coloring can be added into the upper tank to see if the color appears in the bowl area. (May require a plumber's assistance.)
  • To check for a leak in the irrigation system, turn off the valve to the irrigation system and leave it off for several minutes. If, when the valve is turned back on, you can feel water flow back into the system, this indicates a leak somewhere in the irrigation line. (May require an irrigation specialist's assistance.)

Contact Information

Utility billing staff are happy to answer questions, conduct field tests, and assist our customers in any way we can. For assistance, call 720-898-7760.