The main culprit of higher-than-normal water usage is running toilets. Other culprits include pipe breaks, sump pump failures, dripping faucet(s), extra watering, issues with pipes/spigots outside or new construction. The easiest way to avoid a high water bill is to diligently monitor water use. Write down your meter reading, wait a couple of hours (or overnight) without using any water, than read it again. If the numbers have changed you have an issue somewhere.
Another way to reduce water usage is to install low-flow fixtures on toilets, shower heads and faucets. Make sure water pressure in the home isn't too high which isn't good for your pipes. The best water pressure window is 50-75 (pounds per square inch). Anything higher and the water pressure will begin ruining your pipes over time which could result in broken pipes.
Of course, not turning off the water when brushing your teeth or shaving or doing the dishes, taking long showers, running laundry and dishwasher loads at less than full capacity, etc. all contribute to wasting water.
The AWWA website www.drinktap.org offers an online drip calculator to determine how much water is dripping or a fast-running faucet uses and also includes more information about household leaks and caring for pipes.
Taken from Madison-Park News 9/26/18.