Don't live in fear of a big water bill
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
CREATED Feb. 21, 2012
Reporter: Kevin Keen
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Water bills totaling $150, $1,000, and $4,000. They’re unexpected charges soaking some Tucson Water customers. Often, they’re the result of a leak or runny toilet the homeowner didn’t know about, but nevertheless had to pay for part of it. One man is reminding Tucsonans of a safeguard that doesn’t cost a penny.
“I recommend that everybody check their water meter at least once a week,” said Fred Shepard, owner of Water Saving Irrigation Systems. He makes that recommendation to his 2,000-some customers.
“It's easy to end up with a high water bill if you've got a leak and it's running down the wash for a month and you're not checking it,” he said. “It can be five or six weeks old before you see it.”
To prevent the problem, Shepard instructs to first turn off all your faucets, showers and sprinkler and then glance at your water meter. If the small usage needle is spinning, you may have a leak. He recommends contacting an expert to find it and plug it before it before you have to pay for more of it.
“If you are diligent and do due diligence, keep a record, watch your water usage, you won't have to be blaming anyone,” he said. “It won't matter because if there's a problem, you'll figure it out right away.”
KGUN9 News reporter Kevin Keen asked him, “What percentage of businesses and people check their water meter, do you think?” “Pretty small,” he replied. “Years ago, I used to recommend it to people and I don't think anybody did. Now, I have customers who are checking their meters. I have one customer I know that checks it every day. She had a $3,000 water bill. She'll never have one again.”
Tucson Water also says it's a good idea to regularly check your water meter to find and stop leaks--even to verify your monthly bill. The department posts instructions online along with conservation tips.