leak notice

Do I Really Have a Water Leak?

Dear Round Rock Water Customer:

I wanted to provide you a courtesy message to let you know that you may have a water leak at your property. If you ever receive an alert from the City regarding abnormal water consumption, you might feel a sense of confusion or panic. Do not panic, everything will be okay! First, we recommend looking all around your property to locate the leak. (That means inside and outside.) We are calling a leak 24 hours of continuous water flow through the meter. So, sometimes leaks are easy to find and sometimes you realize that the water hose was left on! In some cases, you might be left scratching your head because you did not find any signs of leaks. Therefore, we alert you so that you aren’t confused looking at a high water bill. Leaks can be outside in the yard or underground, so just because you cannot see it, does not mean it is not there! What I mean by underground is that the line from the meter to your property can have a leak. Leaks can also occur in irrigation systems, pools, under foundations, and basically anything that uses water at your house.

Who is responsible?

There is some confusion about who the leak belongs to and who is responsible for fixing it. I completely understand the confusion because some people are not aware that private leaks that go through the meter are counted as consumption. If you are alerted of a leak it is important to check your water meter. If you are not sure if the leak is yours or the city’s, the easiest answer that question is to check the water meter. If the meter shows an alert or is reading a certain water flow (Gallons per minute), then that means the water has already passed through your property line. Look at the face of the meter; it is digital and shows the gallons per minute (gpm) going through the meter in the upper left of the meter face. If any of the numbers move or if an arrow symbol appears in the upper center square (where the red circle is on the meter face to the right), that means water is flowing through the meter. This means that you are paying for the water passing through the meter into your property.  The City is not responsible for finding or fixing leaks in private property.  Again, do not panic! In many cases, leaks can be an easy fix, like a toilet leak or a faucet. In the case that the leak is something you cannot fix, then you will have to hire a professional. That is why we try to alert people as soon as possible. The faster you can find and fix a water leak, the less expensive your water bill will be.

Will This Leak Effect My Water Bill?

I receive this question a lot, and it is understandable. If you are not intentionally using water, then it might be frustrating to have to pay for it. That is why we strongly recommend checking your water usage at your property regularly. To view your monthly, daily, or hourly water usage, register at our customer portal at www.RRTXwater.com.  (Please note you need your CID-account number to register.) You will be able to see an easy to read line graph that represents your water usage! This is a great way to keep an eye on your water usage and catch anything that looks abnormal. Many people have learned that their toilet refills for hours in the middle of the night. Many people also realize that their irrigation system runs in the middle of the day rather than at night. Some people might even be more conscious about their water habits after seeing how much water they use in a day. Catching leaks fast prevents not only high bills but water damage to your property!

If you do have water leak, you will most likely be contacted by us, but it is important to keep an eye out for anything that looks like a leak. Hopefully, this has settled some confusion regarding leaks on private property. Here is more information about leaks.

https://www.roundrocktexas.gov/departments/utilities-and-environmental-services/water/water-leaks/

We Want to Alert You!

Is there truly ever a time that we enjoy opening bills?  I can’t think of any, except when maybe I’ve just paid off a credit card and am very happy to see the zero balance!  Who wouldn’t enjoy knowing you owe no money that month!?!?  I would love it!high bill

Well, when the opposite happens–opening a bill you thought would be small, but was very high—that can cause a lot of unhappy feelings, stress, anger, confusion—what happened?  Why is this so high?  Why didn’t I know?  Enter applicable emoji faces here.  Ha!

The City is trying to prevent that negative reaction from happening when you open up your water bill each month.  Thanks to the new automated water meters that the Utility Department has installed over the last several years, we can now let you know if you’ve had water running through your water meter without stopping for over 24 hours!  Pretty cool!

Here’s a little history on these new meters:  Back in 2009, we began upgrading the meters from a traditional meter that is read each month (and only once per month) by actual persons that walk the town, street by street, opening up meter boxes to write down that month’s number.  That was pretty inefficient, but the standard practice in the water metering world.  Those new meters installed starting in 2009 were called AMR (automatic meter reading), as a person didn’t have to walk all day and open up these boxes.  Now we could read the meters from the comfort of a car, with this drive-by system, as the meter reads would automatically be uploaded into the computer in the car with the now-mobile meter reader.  This allowed the city to read meters much faster, find meters that weren’t working quicker, prevent mistakes made when manually reading the meter, and provide more water data and information to you (our water customers) about when water is being used at your property.  (You may have seen some of the cool water use graphs we can now access.)

Moving forward, starting in 2015, we upgraded the meters again, moving to an even more automated system where now we don’t even need to drive-by to get the monthly meter reads.  Now, the meters send their reads twice a day to our billing software infrastructure.  This makes us even more efficient in removing vehicles off the road (helping with air quality, saving fuel costs), knowing nearly immediately when meters stop working, having quicker access to water use to help answer questions about why bills may be high, and again, (we’re coming full circle now) let you know if you have a leak registering on your water meter.

We receive an alert from the meter if water has been flowing for more than 24-hours without stopping.  So, rather than finding out a month or so later (when the bill comes in the mail AND you’ve actually opened it), you now may find out within a week that you have some kind of odd water use.  You can start checking things out at your house to prevent that shocked when opening the bill experience!  Maybe it’s an easy-to-prevent toilet leak, a water hose left running, a swimming pool fill stuck open, or unfortunately something worse, but we want you to know about it as soon as possible to prevent damage, save money, and save water! alert word

The leak alerts will primarily be sent in the mail as a postcard, but may be a doorhanger, or an email.  We aren’t able to say what specifically is causing the constant water use, we can only tell you that water is being used continuously at your house.  Hopefully before the end of this year, you’ll also be able to receive this alert as a text message.  More on that coming soon!

Starting this leak alert notification is just another way we are striving to save water as a community and provide the best customer service we can, to you!  I really hope you never get one sent to you—no one wants a leak!  But if you do, you’re welcome!