I want to follow up on my last blog, Reading Your Water Bill, to see how much water you and the people in the property with you (a.k.a. your family), are using. Have you done it yet? To refresh your memory, it’s looking at the gallons of water being used, rather than just looking at the dollar amount. On average here in Round Rock, a person uses 75 gallons per day. How did your house compare?
So today, in addition to looking at the gallons, I want you to pull those bills out again and look in two other places that will offer you insight into what’s going on with your water bill and what’s going on around the City’s water department.
Now that you know where to find the gallons of water used, you should know WHEN these gallons were used. Meaning, the billing dates. A lot of times we hear remarks from customers saying there’s no way they used the water, or (sometimes) thinking the usage would be higher because of something that happened at their house. It all depends on the dates the meter was read for the bill. You can find those dates on the back of the bill.
Look at the top, middle of the back of the bill under the words “READ DATE.” This tells you the “previous” and “current” reads, along with the dates. This is the time period that you are being charged for. The dates in the example are September 19, 2016, and October 19, 2016. The 12,400 gallons of water used on this bill was for that month of mid-September to mid-October.
Don’t be surprised if the dates on your bill are from over a month ago. That’s the way it goes with water billing. You are charged for what you use, after you use it (so we know how much to charge you for); and then it takes some time to create the bills and mail or send them all out.
If you are surprised by the amount of gallons of your bill, you can check those dates the bill is for and then look at your calendar (if you’re like me: the big paper calendar hanging in the kitchen with everyone’s activities on it!) or search your memory, or phone, to think about what was going on weather-wise or around your house at that time. Did you have new sod installed and had to water it more? Was the weather very rainy and you turned off the sprinklers for several weeks? Did you have a toilet running for a few days? These are all things to think about when looking at your water bill, as they all affect it.
Next, the second place to look is on the front of bill at the SPECIAL MESSAGE section. On my example bill, this area is circled in green, and it’s empty! No special messages this time. However, it’s a good idea to glance here to find out what is going on the City. Here’s where we’ll make a note about rate changes, waste water averaging, rain barrel sales, water rebates, and other interesting information. You wouldn’t want to miss out on a great opportunity by not reading this section!
That’s it! Thanks for learning about your water use!