Bethpage Water District Blog

Thursday, June 6, 2019

My bill is higher in the summer. If I think I have a leak, what do I look for?

    Using water for irrigation, seasonal outdoor cleaning and filling pools will definitely add to the bill. Most times the bill is not as high in the summer months even though the consumption is up as the bill is tabulated for the previous 3 months. The impact of summer usage is not felt on the pocketbook until the fall season. Customers who receive bills in September are being billed for June. July & August. If your statement arrives in October, you are being billed for July, August & September. If it arrives in November, then the meter usage is from August, September & October.

    When customers receive these bills, it can be alarming as the usage has just caught up to them. Periodically, it can also be due to leaks that develop within the house. Hose bibs should always be turned completely off and allowing hoses to run without a nozzle on the end can cause an increase in the bill.

    The most common culprit of a leak in the house is the toilet tank. It is a silent, mostly unknown user of water and fortunately, easy to detect and repair. If the toilet's flap valve is leaking, that is literally throwing money down the drain and it is almost never noticed because there is no evidence of water on the floor and there is almost no sound. If you visualize a hose running under water, there is almost no sound heard and this is the same principle with a toilet flap leaking. Toilet flap valves do not last forever and they are just a few dollars at a home center.

    The easiest way to check for a toilet flap valve leak is to use food coloring and put it into the tank. If the colored water makes its way into the bowl, then the flap valve is leaking. If you have multiple toilets in the house, the problem could be multiplied by each toilet. Another easy method to check for a leak in your house is to read your water meter prior to going to bed and then again first thing in the morning before using any water. If there is no usage, then there is no leak as water did not flow through the meter for the overnight period.

    Dye packets for toilet tank testing are available and complimentary at the District office, 25 Adams Avenue, Bethpage. If you suspect a greater cause or you need help, you can contact the District at 516-931-0093 and we can schedule an appointment for a service technician to come out and investigate as well.

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