Water Billing Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my water bill much higher than normal?  
A majority of high water bills are due to toilets that are leaking.  Other things to check for are leaks in dripping faucets, sump pumps and sprinkler systems.  Because you cannot always hear a leak does not mean that you are not experiencing water loss.  There are a couple of ways you can check if you have a problem.  One way is to write down the water meter reading (usually located in the basement) before you go to bed at night.  The following morning, re-read the meter and compare the readings.  If the meter has advanced while you were not using any water that would indicate there is a leak in the system.  The second thing is check your toilet or toilets by placing 13 or 14 drops of red food coloring in the tank of  toilet (do not flush) let stand for 1 hour, if the color seeps through to the bowl that would indicate a toilet leak.
Why are my bills higher than my neighbors?
Even with the same number of people living in the house it is impossible to know exactly how your neighbor’s water consumption compares to yours.  Bathing habits may differ, the amount of laundry and size of loads differ, dish washing, car washing and outside lawn and garden watering, are not all equal.
Could my meter be running fast?
Water meters are designed to prevent accelerated readings.  In fact, as water meters wear out they slow down or stop.  That is why you will occasionally have a note on your door to contact the Water Department regarding a meter reading.  We want to be sure that your meter is registering correct readings, especially if it is transmitting to the outside reading device.
I am moving soon, how do I get a Final Water Bill?
If you are moving, you will need a final reading of your water meter.  Appointments for final water bills must be made 48 (forty-eight) hours in advance.  Hours for final reads are Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 3:30 pm. As soon as you know your closing date, call the Water Department.  We will set an appointment for you to have a representative of the Water Department take your final meter reading inside and read the outside reading device.  The final water bill will then be calculated and ready for you to pickup the following day after 10:00 a.m.  If you prefer to have your final bill mailed or faxed please let us know your intentions when you are setting your appointment. If you are planning on picking up your final water bill you can pay at the Treasurer’s Office or take it to your closing.  Call the Water Department at (586) 445-5460 for final water bills.
When can I use outside water during the mandatory odd even day watering ban?
If the last number of your address ends in an odd number, you may water on odd-numbered calendar days.  If your address ends with an even number, you may water on an even-numbered calendar days.

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