An increase in water and sewer charges may be caused by various reasons. To begin troubleshooting, you may start by answering these questions:
Have you used water for outdoor purposes, such as a pool fill, watering your lawn/landscape, or power washing?
Have you had company staying in the home or recently increased the number of people living in the home?
Are there any fixtures, such as a faucet or outside spigot, that have a slow drip or leak?
Has your water softener been stuck cycling water? (Occasionally water softeners will get stuck in the backwash or rinse mode, and will continue to cycle water through the unit until the problem is corrected.)
Do you have a leaking commode? (Commodes are the most common cause for higher utility bills because they are a silent culprit - you may not notice that they are running, because the leak may not be seen or heard. See the section below for information on testing for a leaking commode.)
If you are unable to determine the cause for your increased utility bill, please feel free to contact the Utility Billing Office at (513) 867-5370 to speak with a representative.
Follow these simple instructions to find out if your commode is leaking:
1. Drop a few drops of household food coloring into the tank at the top of the commode. 2. Wait approximately 10 minutes - do not flush! 3. If the color of the dye appears in the toilet bowl, the commode is leaking.
(The City provides toilet dye tablets free of charge at the Utility Billing Office. If you prefer to use dye tablets rather than household food coloring, please visit the office to pick some up!)
If your commode is leaking, you will probably need to replace some parts inside the tank. Replacement parts can be purchased at a local hardware or plumbing store. You may make the repairs yourself, or you may consult a plumber.
Household Leak Detection
Your water meter can be used as a tool to check for leaks:
Make sure that no water is being used inside the home.
On your water meter, locate the leak detector (black triangle, red triangle, or small dial on the face of the meter.) If no water is being used, the leak detector should not be moving. If the leak detector is moving, water is passing through the meter, and there is a leak.
If the leak detector is not moving, make a note of the meter reading, and check the meter again after an hour (still making sure that no water is used inside the home.) If the reading has changed, then there is a leak.
Locate the source of the leak and make repairs.
Remember to check for leaks regularly - small leaks can cause large bills!