Reviewing your water bills is very important and informative. Over the last two years with the recent increase of water rates, many have not understood the reason why the cost of water has increase from 15-30%.
We at CLS have dissected water bills to help our clients and property managers understand the actual water bill and what each item means. When reviewing the water bill many just look at the current amount due and skip the important information that is in the “Current Charges” summary which includes a lot of information such as water usage, outside of agency charges and other charges. Some agencies even have a City tax included in the bill. Several of the items listed previously are uncontrollable, however the area that is controllable by the user is the usage of units consumed.
To help reduce the high water cost you can try to reduce the amount of usage by looking at the history graph located on the right side of the water bill and manage a reduction in usage from previous years. This area tells you the last two years of water used on the account. The way to find out how many gallons of water used is to look at the quantity of units (each unit equals 748 gallons of water per cubic foot).
If you need to monitor the water meters for a possible leak, the area to read is the meter reading section that shows the previous reading and the current reading. Many times, the meter readings are not actual and are estimated. This has happened in some cases where some water departments will take an average of the previous months and estimate a number and add this to the reading. Unfortunately, the customer is the one that pays out of pocket if this is not watched monthly.
Be sure to read the number of days you are being billed for. Some months you may be paying for 35 days of water usage and other months only 28. This can make a significant difference, so ensure you watch the water rate as this is where you will see when the price of the water has changed. Tiered rates go up dramatically if you use over what the water department has allocated for you. If you feel that your allocation is far off, contact the water department for an evaluation. It is important to review each aspect of your bill as mistakes do get made that are easily corrected.