Understanding a High Utility Bill

Often, when Canton residents receive their bills, they wonder why it is so high. Residents are billed bi-monthly for water usage. One thing to keep in mind is that the bill reflects usage for the previous 2 months. In other words, a bill received in the fall will have summer usage on it. By this time we find that many residents forget how frequently they may have watered over the summer, and are shocked at their bill.

Irrigation Systems

One of the biggest sources of high water bills is the use of an irrigation system. An average sprinkler head can use 2 gallons per minute. If your system has 20 heads, and runs for 20 minutes each day, the result would be 24,000 gallons in a month or 72,000 gallons during a quarterly bill.

One thing that you can do to monitor your watering is to take a reading at the start of a water cycle and again at the end. By performing this check, you will know exactly how much water is being used by your system. Based on this information, you can adjust your watering accordingly.


A slow drip can add up to 15 to 20 gallons a day. Your water meter is the best detective for finding sizable leaks in your home. The meter, located in the basement of your home, registers in gallons. Turn everything off carefully, so no water is being used anywhere in the house. Then check the position of the meter dial for about 15 minutes. If it hasn't moved, you have a relatively water-tight home. But if it has moved, start checking hose connections, faucets, and toilets.

Additional Information

To find out how much water you have used in any given period, just subtract the reading used on your last bill from the current meter reading. Read your meter left to right using the numbers in the thousand digits printed on the white background. That number reflects how many thousands of gallons you have used since your last billing.