Property owners throughout the District with a water meter received their annual metered utility bill this week for water and sewer. Some owners have noted a higher than usual bill. While the annual rate per cubic meter of water consumed increased by 2 cents, from $1.26 to $1.28, over last year, which would reflect in a small increase on the bill, much higher bills are likely due to:
- More water consumption, or
- A leak in the property’s plumbing system.
Our Public Works team reads water meters monthly to proactively identify meter equipment issues, very high consumers, and potential leaks on private property. If an issue is detected, staff will alert the owner about the possible leaks and recommend a repair, as any leak from the meter to the house is the customer’s responsibility to fix.
Increases in consumption can happen quickly, especially if more people are staying home due to the COVID-19 crisis. Owners can compare their current consumption with last year’s consumption by reviewing their bill. Tips for water conservation around the house and how to find and repair leaks are available at ourwatermatters.ca.
All properties in the District with water meters are eligible for a one-time Water Leak Adjustment for their metered water usage only if a leak is detected, repaired, and other conditions of the Bylaw are met. The Utility Review Invoice Request form is available online or you can call Public Works at 604-820-3761 for more information.
Customers are always welcome to contact the District at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss their bill.
Use your water meter to check for leaks
The best way to determine if you have a leak in your plumbing system, is by first checking your water meter. If you do not know where your meter is located you can call Public Works at (604) 820-3761 to get your meter location.
- Make sure no water is being used inside or outside of your house.
- Locate your water meter and check the leak indicator to see if it is moving. Depending on the brand of your meter, the leak indicator could be a small triangular or round shaped dial that spins, or a small plus sign that blinks; the numbers increase when water is flowing through the meter. If the dial is moving, chances are, you have a leak.
You can also take a meter reading and wait 1 or 2 hours and take another meter reading (make sure no water is used during this time). If the reading has changed, you have a leak.
- After you have determined that you have a leak, the next step is to determine if the leak is inside or outside of your house.
- Locate your home’s main shut off valve inside the home and shut off the water at the valve. Typically, you will find the shut off valve in the basement by the hot water tank, in the garage directly behind an outdoor faucet, or below and behind an outdoor faucet.
- Again, check the leak indicator for movement or use the meter reading method, making sure not to use any water during this period. If the leak indicator stops moving or there is no change in the meter readings, you have a leak inside of the house. If the leak indicator continues to move or there is a change in the meter readings, the leak is outside between the meter at the property line and the house.
If you are unable to locate the leak, you may need to call a plumber.
Tips for Detecting Leaks:
- The most common leak is in toilets and cannot always be heard. Check your toilets for leaks-put food color in the top tank and see if it comes through to the bowl without flushing. If it does, you are losing water and need to make a repair.
- Check inside and out for any faucets that drip or have leaks around the handles.
- Look for soggy spots or areas that are greener than the rest of the lawn or near trees where the tree roots could damage your water line.