Seasonal Water Usage & Tips
When warm weather arrives and your outside water usage begins to increase you should anticipate a higher water bill for the two bills that cover the summer months. Watering lawns and gardens, power washing such items as your house, lawn furniture, boats, and filling a pool will all increase your water usage.
With increased water usage, there will also be the possibility of outdoor water leaks. Most common are irrigation leaks that can be hard to detect and most often are not discovered until a bill is received reflecting high usage. Our department is frequently asked if the water bill can be adjusted due to an outdoor water leak. For any type of leak, once water has gone through the water meter, water billing cannot be adjusted.
We recommend that if you are concerned about how much water your household is using, monitor your water usage. This can be easily done by writing down all the numbers on your water meter before and after heavy water usage. You can call our office with those numbers and we can give you an estimate of how many units of water you have used. Because our department only reads water meters every three months in conjunction with billing, if you keep a diary of your water meter reads and usage you can track your usage and possibly determine a leak before you receive a high bill.
If you are interested in reducing your water usage, there are resources online that can provide water conservation tips around your home.
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Filling a Pool?
Every summer we receive phone calls from residents who want to fill a pool with water from their hose wondering about the cost.
For residential customers, we bill water usage the same way whether the water is used inside or outside your home. Sewer billing is not based on water usage; it is a flat rate, so if you use a considerable amount of water to fill a pool, your sewer bill will remain the same.
Water usage is billed in units and one unit of water on your bill is equal to 748 gallons of water. Our minimum water billing per month is $7.08 and two units of water (or 1,496 gallons of water) are included. After the first two units, water is billed at $3.54 per unit.
Using a per unit rate of $3.54, a 10,000 gallon pool would equate to 13.36 units of water, or $47.29. Keep in mind, this amount would be in addition to your normal water usage.
We hope this information is helpful when deciding to fill a pool using a hose.
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Winter Weather Water Tips
During the fall months, there are several things that homeowners can do to protect their homes from winter water damage. Before the cold weather hits, be sure:
- Outside water faucets are opened, and inside the home the line is closed.
- Locate and mark the main water value for your home and make sure the adults in your house know where it is located. Water damage can be minimized if all adults know where to turn off the water in case of an emergency.
- Consider insulating any pipes that are near outside walls, under the home (in crawl spaces) or in the attic.
If you have had problems with lines freezing in the past, inspect the lines before the winter hits. In addition to insulating the pipes, seal any gaps in the walls with caulk or other means. Check with your local hardware store for other effective ways of insulating and sealing gaps. In the event that your pipes do freeze, remember that you should never thaw pipes with an open flame. It is best to use a small portable heater or a hair dryer. Please make sure you are careful about electric shock around standing water!
If you plan on going out of town for any extended period of time, you may consider keeping your heat over 60°F. You may also drain the water from your lines inside your home and you can contact our office so we may turn the water off at the street.
During a winter storm there is always the probability that you will lose power to your home. If the power will be off for a long period of time, turn the water off at the main shut off valve in your home. Open faucets in all levels of your home to allow for expansion should any water left in the lines freeze.
If you notice anything unusual, such as unfrozen puddles or large pools of water, please contact us so we can shut off the water at the road. If you have a water pipe that has broken in your home or on your property, you will have to contact an independent contractor to fix any damage that occurs within your property.
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