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High Usage & Conservation Charges

Q: What are some possible causes for higher water usage? 

When water consumption is higher than normal, we find that the water has been used on the property, but in a way that was not expected. The following is a list of possible, though not definitive, causes for high water usage:

  • Poorly adjusted sprinkler systems that result in unnecessary irrigation. Often this is caused by power outages or sprinkler controllers that are not adjusted for changing conditions
  • Over irrigation on slopes or outlying landscaping due to missing sprinkler heads or broken pipes
  • Hose left on in yard by mistake
  • ​Leaking toilet
  • ​Leaks from faucets or shower heads
  • Malfunctioning water softeners
  • Cleaning or construction crews adding to normal water consumption
  • Extra House guests - kids home from college or extra family staying over
Q: Why does my bill suddenly have a conservation charge on it? 

The conservation charge is imposed if a customer's water use exceeds their annual allotment. The yield of the water rights provided to ELCO at the time of construction is the basis for a customer's annual allotment. The water rights required for single family customers are based on their lot size. Once a customer goes  over their annual allotment, a conservation charge is applied per 1,000 gallon until the allotment is set back to zero after the January bill which reflects the December usage. The year-to-date water use and annual allotment for each customer is shown just below the graph at the bottom of the monthly water bill.​

Q: What can I do to reduce my water bill? 

Since outside irrigation typically accounts for half of a household's water use, the greatest savings can be realized by improving lawn watering practices and reducing irrigated areas. Toilets, baths and showers account for almost 2/3 of the water used indoors. For that reason, interior water conservation should be focused on bathroom fixtures.

If you have a smart meter, make sure you have an EyeOnWater account set up so you can regularly monitor your water usage and set up leak alerts. You can find more information about EyeOnWater by clicking the link in the sidebar.

Call the ELCO office if you need more information about water conservation.