Resolve High Water Bills

Potential Causes for High Bills

An unusually high water bill is most often caused by a leak or change in water use. Some common causes of high water bills include:

  • A leaking toilet, or a toilet that continues to run after being flushed (see additional information below
  • A dripping faucet; a faucet drip can waste 20 gallons of water a day or more
  • Filling or topping off a swimming pool
  • Watering the lawn, new grass, or trees; also check for an open hose bib
  • Kids home for summer vacations or school holidays; guests
  • Water-cooled air conditioners
  • A broken water pipe or obvious leak; check the pipes in the basement or crawlspace; the water heater could also be leaking
  • Water softener problems - cycles continuously
  • Running the water to avoid freezing water pipes during cold weather

Generally, water consumption is higher during the summer due to watering of lawns, pools, and gardening. Typically, an average family of four uses 6,000-8,000 gallons of water a month. Here are a few things to check if you get a bill that's higher than usual.

Changes in your water use

Did you have house guests, water your lawn more than usual, or do anything else out of the ordinary in the last month that uses a lot of water? If so, this may account for an increase in your water bill.

Check for leaks

Leaks, whether unseen or unfixed, can waste hundreds and even thousands of gallons of water. It is important to routinely check your plumbing and home for leaky faucets, toilets, and outside taps and irrigation lines.

Toilet and faucet leaks

The most common cause for a high water bill is running water from your toilet. A continuously running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons a day. That can double a family's typical water use, so fix toilet leaks as soon as possible. Some leaks are easy to find, such as a dripping faucet or running toilet. You can usually hear a running toilet, but not always.

Outdoor and underground leaks

Leaks can also occur in harder to find places, such as under your house or in the service line between your water meter and your home. Check outdoor spigots and crawl spaces, and look for wet spots in your yard, which may indicate a leak.

Johnston County Public Utilities



Physical Address:
Land Use Center
309 E. Market Street
Smithfield, NC 27577

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 2263
Smithfield, NC 27577

  • Email:
    publicutilities@jcutil.com

  • Phone:
    Main - 919-989-5075
    Pay by Phone - 844-845-2151
  • Fax:
    Business Office - 919-934-0256
    Engineering Office - 919-934-7174