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​Ways your water use can rise

The average household in Edmonton uses 15.4 cubic meters (15,400 litres) of water each month. But leaks or changes in your regular water use can increase your water consumption more than you may think. Here are some things to check or consider if you get a water bill that's higher than normal:

Changes in your water use

Seasonal use

We tend to use more water in the summer, keeping our grass green, our gardens growing and our flowers blooming. Filling pools and hot tubs, and general increased use with kids being home during summer vacation can also add to our water consumption.

Houseguests

Hosting guests in your home can mean more showering, toilet flushing, handwashing, cooking, dishwashing and laundry.

New appliances

If you've added a water-intensive appliance or equipment to your home, you may notice an increase on your water bill. For example, water softeners use water to regularly flush out buildup in their filters, and humidifiers and air conditioners use more water at certain times of the year. To minimize these impacts, choose high-efficiency appliances.

Learn ways to conserve water inside and outside your home.

Water leaks

Leaky toilets, faucets, hose bibs, irrigation systems and appliances (e.g., dishwashers, washing machines, steam dryers, humidifiers and hot water tanks) left unfixed can waste a lot of water. We recommend routinely checking your home for the following kinds of leaks:

Running toilet

Toilets are a common source of water leaks. Sometimes, you'll hear running water or a trickle, but often, a toilet leak can be silent and easily overlooked. Here are some reasons for a leaky toilet:

  • Chain getting stuck under the flapper

  • A broken, worn or warped flapper

  • Flapper sticks in the open position

  • Float in the improper position

  • Water level inside tank is set to high, causing water to flow into overflow tube in tank

How much can a toilet leak cost?

A leaky toilet means more water use and more water sent down the drain, which leads to higher charges on your bill for water, wastewater treatment and drainage services.

Learn more about the services included on your EPCOR bill.

Volume of wasted water* Increased cost on monthly bill**
Small leak
e.g., chain caught under flapper
​100 L/day or 3 m3/month ​$11.23

Medium leak
e.g., improper floater position

​12,000 L/day or 360 m3/month ​$1594.40
Large leak***
e.g., water level in tank too high
​33,600 L/day or 1,008 m3/month ​$4,503.08

* Volume can vary based on type of toilet and leak.
** Estimate based on applicable 2017 water, wastewater treatment and drainage rates for Edmonton.
*** This is an actual example of a toilet running fully open for one month at a residential site in Edmonton. Larger leaks have also occurred at residential sites due to both a toilet and urinal running.

Water loss from an open toilet flapper

Toilet flapper valves stuck in the open position is a common reason for high water consumption. We simulated the problem to show you just how much water loss an open flapper can cause. Take a look:

 

Drips and drops

Leaky faucets, hose bibs and water-using appliances can waste a surprising amount of water. Dripping and water or calcium staining on your floor, plumbing or appliances, connections are all signs of leaks.

A quick way to confirm leaks

Take a look at your water meter. If the dial or the flow indicator (a small rotating wheel or triangle) is moving, and you aren't using any water at the time, you have a leak somewhere inside or outside your home.

 

A seasonal tip

In the fall, ensure your outside hose bibs are turned off. It's also a great time to check your irrigation system for leaks and get it winterized before the temperature drops.

Leaky pipes

If you have a leaky water pipe, you may notice flooding or see water coming into your home or business. Outside, you may notice pooling or wet spots on your lawn or driveway.

Homeowners are responsible for water pipe maintenance and breaks on their property. Learn what to do if you suspect a water leak on your property.

What to do if your water bill is higher than normal

  • Consider whether your household's water use habits have recently changed.

  • Check inside and outside your home for leaks. If you find one, repair it as soon as possible. Visit a local hardware store for tips and supplies, or hire a plumber to complete the work.

  • Call us at 310-4300. We contact customers when we notice spikes in water use, but we also encourage you to reach out if you have questions about your water consumption. We will work with you to address your concerns and find a resolution. We can also offer to test your water meter accuracy for a service fee.