Why Is My Water Bill So High? 4 Potential Causes

Unlike most things in life, your water bill should be relatively stable and predictable. A sudden spike in water charges could indicate anything from lifestyle changes to a major water leak.

Wondering why your water bill is suddenly so high? We’ll explore 5 potential causes and their solutions later in this article. But first, let’s take a look at average water costs in Denver so you know about how much you can expect to pay each month and year.

How much does water cost in Denver on average?

Compared to other major cities, Denver has some of the lowest water charges in Colorado. The average water bill for a single family living in Denver is around $530 per year or roughly $45 per month as of 2020. The cost of water in Denver varies based on an array of factors, including the type and size of the residence as well as the billing rates of the water provider.

Denver Water is the main water service provider, delivering clean drinking water to over 1 million residents in the Mile High City.

Looking at your water bill can be a little confusing. In addition to a fixed monthly charge, Denver Water charges residential customers different rates based on:

  • location: inside city or outside city
  • consumption: fixed minimum rates apply per 1,000 gallons of water used
  • property type: residential, commercial, multi-unit, or irrigation
  • service type: Denver residents living in the suburbs are charged a different rate
  • meter size: different meter sizes incur a different monthly fixed charge

Denver Water also implements a tier system that determines the rate per 1,000 gallons. Tier 1 is the lowest rate and applies to residential customers. The rate per 1,000 gallons for Tier 1 will increase to $2.39 in 2021.

Why is my water bill so high? 4 common culprits and what you can do to fix them

Now that we’ve taken a brief look at the fine print of your Denver water bill, let’s investigate why your water bill might be high. Here are 5 common reasons for a high water bill, plus potential solutions.

Changes in water consumption

This one is perhaps the easiest to fix. Long showers, leaving the faucet running while you’re brushing your teeth, and forgetting to turn the sprinklers off are just a few examples.

New appliances like a washing machine or dishwasher can also use more water than you’re used to.

How to fix it: The obvious solution is to be mindful of how much water you use and make an effort to reduce your water consumption. If you’re shopping for a new appliance, choose a highly efficient unit that uses less water. (Look for the WaterSense logo.)

Leaky and dripping faucets

A leaky faucet wastes anywhere from a third of a gallon of water to 90+ gallons of water per day. That probably doesn’t seem like much, but it adds up over time. Especially when you consider the ecological impact of all the dripping faucets out there.

Not only do leaky and dripping faucets waste money, but they also waste precious clean water. The EPA estimates that all the leaking faucets in America waste 1 trillion gallons of water collectively each year.

How to fix it: The required repair depends on where the faucet is leaking. If it’s from the spout, you might need to change the faucet cartridge or screw/washer. If it’s the base, the O ring is likely worn out or cracked and needs replacing. If the pipes under your sink are leaking, you probably have a loose or cracked pipe.

Running toilets

A running toilet can waste up to nearly 6,500 gallons per day. Although fixing a running toilet is relatively easy and inexpensive, it’s something you should do ASAP to prevent any unpleasant surprises on next month’s water bill.

How to fix it: Open up the tank and take a look inside. The problem might be a worn-out toilet flapper or misaligned float.

Related: Why Does My Toilet Keep Running?

Water softener issues

A water softener is a handy addition to your home, removing minerals and preventing hard water stains. Unfortunately, it can also contribute to high water bills in certain circumstances.

When a water softener gets stuck in regeneration mode, it cycles continuously and will draw water non-stop. A leak is another, less common issue. Loose connections and worn-out or cracked parts could cause a water softener to leak.

How to fix it: To fix a leaking water softener, first check to see if any parts are loose, cracked, or worn out. If cycling is the problem, a part likely needs replacing. This could be the timer or control switch. Your best bet is calling in a water softener specialist. They’ll be able to quickly identify and install whichever part needs replacing.

Contact us today with your Denver sewer and plumbing repair needs and questions

Worried about your high water bill? Our expert technicians can identify and fix the problem promptly. Call us today with all your Denver plumbing and sewer repair needs.