South Harrison Water Corp.
Many customers call the office about their water bill. A comment we hear a lot is "There is no way I could have used that much water!" We can only go by the meter reading. If the meter registers the water usage, the water has gone through the meter and the customer is responsible for the bill.
You may request that your water meter be pulled, replaced and the old meter tested. We use a certified testing facility to test our water meters. We do not test them ourselves. We will pay for one meter test per account per year and will send you a copy of the results. If more than one test per year is requested by the customer, then the customer will pay for subsequent tests. It is very common for older water meters to wear over time and slow down. A meter is a mechanical device and will simply wear out over time. All recent meter test results have shown our meters to be accurate, or slow. A slow meter will UNDER register water usage. For the record, if a meter tests slow, we will not reinstall it.
One way to cut down on the amount of water that you use each month is to conserve when possible. Besides saving you money, it is the right thing to do. Water is a very prescious natural resource.
You should check for leaks in your home first, and then in your service line from our meter to your home. Many appliances use water in the home and a relatively small leak can consume thousands of gallons of water over a month's time. For example, a toilet tank refills after flushing at about 1.5 gallons per minute. If the toilet should "stick" open and run for 24 hours while you are out of town, it would use 2,160 gallons. In one case a customer went on vacation for a week and the toilet ran for 7 days. This amounted to 15,000 gallons of water used, just for the toilet, and no one was home!
Things to check include: Dripping faucets in sinks and showers/tubs, leaking outside yard hydrants and faucets, leaking hot water heater (including pressure relief valve), and a leaking toilet tank. You can easily check for leaking toilet tanks by removing the tank lid and placing food coloring in the tank. If within a few minutes you see the same coloring appear in the toilet bowl, you may need to replace the rubber flapper in the toilet tank. Many customers use automatic units to provide drinking water to live stock or pets, and they should be checked for leaks also.
One of the most common leaks reported to us by customers is freeze proof yard hydrants. These customer hydrants may develop leaks near the base valve underground and the leak will not be seen at the surface. This is a very common customer leak.
Every home should have a shut off valve and pressure regulator installed by you, the home owner. The pressure regulator can also help conserve water and lower your usage. Most customers are happy with 40-45 psi of water pressure. If your pressure regulator is adjusted to supply higher pressure, you will be using more water. Try adjusting your regulator back to lower your usage. Even worse, if you do not have a pressure regulator installed (as every home should), then your piping will be subject to the full line pressure on our system, and the pressure changes that occur when we switch valves or tanks and damage could occur.
Other ways to conserve water include using low flow shower heads, low volume flush toilets, and water efficient appliances such as dish and clothes washers. Many customers have in home water softeners that back wash or recharge based on a timer. This timer can usually be adjusted to increase the time between back washing, which will not only save water, but also salt.
Most all newer water service meters have a small triangular shaped needle on the meter face. If you have all faucets, toilets, and water using appliances turned off in your home, this triangle should not be turning. If the dial is turning, this may indicate you have a leak in your service lines. Another way to check for a leak is to write down your meter reading (including the hand position) when you are leaving home for an extended time. Then when you get back, before using any water, re-read the meter. A change in the reading may indicate a leak in your service.
Keep pools and hot tubs covered to reduce evaporation. Do not overfill your pool or hot tub to prevent overflows and splashes.
Water plants slowly, thoroughly, and infrequently. Water in the early morning to reduce evaporation.
Plant water saving plants, trees, and shrubs. Use native plants that are drought resistant. Mulch around any plants or trees that you water to help hold in moisture.
At least twice yearly, check all faucets indoors and out. Replace worn fixtures, washers, O-rings, and hose connections to prevent drips and wasted water.
Wash cars efficiently. Do not leave the hose running while washing your car. Use a bucket with soap.
Only run a dishwasher with a full load. Scrape dishes clean and use the normal cycle on your dishwasher.
Do not defrost frozen food under a running faucet. Use the microwave to defrost food.
Only wash clothes with the proper load selected. Only wash full loads of clothes.
Buy 'Energy Star' efficient appliances.
Test your toilet for flapper leaks. Place food coloring in the fill tank and do not flush. In a few minutes if the color appears in the bowl, the flapper leaks and needs replaced.
Flush the toilet only when necessary. Do not use the toilet as a waste can. Do not flush trash or insects.
Do not let the water run when brushing your teeth. Turn on and off as needed.
Take shorter showers and baths. Use a low flow shower head.
Fix leaks!! If you know a faucet or line to your house has a small leak, fix it. A small leak will add up to a large amount of water over a month's time.
Reuse water. Use bath water to water plants.
Do not use a water hose in place of a broom on sidewalks and walkways.