Usage, Bills & Leaks

WATER/SEWER USAGE, BILLS & LEAKS
Occasionally, water/sewer usage in a home or business will jump dramatically for one or two months. These high bills are usually caused by a leaking faucet, toilet, water softener, water heater, or pipe in the home.

Once the problem is found and repaired, the bill amount should return to normal the next month.

How to Check for Leaks:  To check if there is a leak in your home, turn off all running water in the house and check the water meter. If the numbers and/or dial are still turning, there is a leak. It is virtually impossible for a water meter to read high. As water meters become old and worn, they may read LOW!

-         High Usage Questions:  Did you have company?? Did you have a gathering?? Did you fill your pool or hot tub?? Did you leave a hose running?? Did you water your lawn?? Did you forget to “jiggle the handle” on you leaky toilet??

-         Meter Wires:  Did you disconnect your water meter reader wires?? It won’t work! The water meter will automatically adjust the reader to actually usage once re-connected. Several months of a disconnected meter reader can result in a significant fluctuation!

Usage Fluctuations:  The City of Corunna Department of Public Works reads water meters on a monthly basis. With 1,200 meters to read, occasionally an error is made. If you suspect an error in your read, please call the Corunna City Hall (989) 743-5040 for a review of your bill.

-          Read Cycle:  The beginning/ending meter read dates appear on your bill. Actual read dates can have an effect on your usage for various reasons. A 3-week read vs. a 5-week read can cause a 1,000-2,000 gallon fluctuation. Also, depending on your habits, a 3-weekend read cycle can differ from a 4-weekend read cycle.

-          Estimations:  Sometimes we are forced to “estimate” your usage. This generally results from when we either do not have access to you meter reader (viscous dogs, blocked access, etc.) or if your reader is malfunctioning.

-          Rollovers:  We read meters in units of a “1,000 gallons”. If you use 1,500 gallons per month, you will see a 1,000 gallon fluctuation every 2 months.  If you use 1,250 gallons per month, you will see a 1,000 gallon jump every 4 months.

Monthly vs. Quarterly Reads:  Every few years the Corunna City Council requests that we consider going to quarterly or every other month meter reads to save money. Management has consistently recommended against this change. It is feared that any read frequency less than monthly would result in property owners that do have a leak, going several months without it being detected.

Meter Improvements Underway:  In 2004, the city began a meter improvement program. This program involves replacing old meters an updating meter read units. The program is designed to help eliminate human error, improve read cycle regularity, and reduce manpower requirements, fuel costs and liability exposure. This program will take 5+ years to fully implement.

-          Electronic Data Gathering:  Opposed to public works employees writing down your meter read in a book for clerical staff to enter into the computer, workers have an electronic data gathering device that interfaces with our billing software. The device also gives an alert and provides a report if either a high or low usage is detected based on parameters we program in.

-          Remote Reader Unit:  Eventually, all meter dials and touch pads will be replaced with a remote reader. This will allow for “drive by” meter read capability. New units are currently being installed in remote and low-density areas of town.