High Water Use#
Have you been surprised by a high water bill? It may be due to unusually high consumption or a leak.
Check Your Usage#
Fort Collins Utilities customers have a free, online tool, My Water, to track hourly and daily water use (formerly known as WaterSmart). Create an online account if you don't already have one.
Look to see if there are:
- Specific days or hours with high spikes – it's high consumption.
- Continuous water use throughout the day – probably a leak.
If you check your water use and find that water is being consumed all day long with no readings of zero within an hour, it's typically a leak. Leaks can be found inside the home or in the sprinkler system.
Learn to identify and fix leaks in:
If you would like to learn more about how to fix common household leaks, there are several excellent resources available on the Environmental Protection Agency's website.
If you replace a toilet or other water-using appliance, look for WaterSense labeled models and take advantage of the rebates Utilities offers.
Find programs that can help fix leaks.
Read a Coloradoan article about being water wise in your home and fixing leaks.
Fix a Leak Kits#
Check toilets, showerheads and faucets for leaks. Free leaks kits are available at 222 Laporte Ave., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday. Kits include a drip calculator, leak ruler, faucet washers, pipe tape and toilet dye tablets to help identify leaks, learn how much water is being wasted and get started on repairs.
Tips to Prevent Freezing Pipes #
During the winter months, sustained temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit could risk pipes freezing. Freezing pipes could cause leaks and expensive damage to your home. To prevent freezing pipes during extreme cold follow these three steps – warm, weatherize, and for those pipes that are still susceptible to freeze, let drip.
- Maintain the interior temperature of the home at 55 degrees Fahrenheit or greater.
- Keep the garage doors closed to prevent excess cold air coming into the home.
- Periodically open cabinet doors under kitchen or bathroom sinks to allow warm air to circulate around the plumbing.
- Leave interior doors open to rooms that have uneven distribution of heat to allow the warm air to circulate throughout the home evenly.
- Prepare for winter:
- Disconnect garden hoses and drain water leading to outside faucets.
- Insulate pipes with foam or tape insulation, especially piping in non-heated areas, such as pipes in the attic, garage or basement.
- Identify and seal openings that will allow cold air into the home. Look near windows, door frames, cable holes or dryer vents. Seal these cracks with caulk or insulation to improve weatherization. The Epic Homes program can help you identify these areas and provides incentives for weatherization.
- Prepare for winter:
- Let water drip at about 5–10 drops per minute for plumbing along an outside wall or fed by exposed piping during sustained temps below 20 degrees.
Is my water meter working?#
Customers often call Utilities concerned their water meter is not working properly. Meters are rigorously tested and maintained to ensure they read within 99% accuracy. As meters get older they tend to register less, not more, water.
Did You Know?
Replacing older water heaters, air conditioners, furnaces and boilers with efficient ENERGY STAR® models can save energy and increase home comfort.
The Efficiency Works store sells water- and energy-saving products, including LED lighting, smart thermostats and showerheads.
Bluegrass lawns generally require 1" or more of water per week, depending on the weather.