Bills change according to water usage, which fluctuates from month to month. Many customers increase their water consumption in the summer months by using water cooled air conditioning, watering gardens, washing cars, filling swimming pools, etc.
A drastic increase in consumption could be an indication that a problem at a property exists and should be inspected for leaks by checking all plumbing, fixtures and water appliances. A quick check would be to turn off all appliances and fixtures that use water and check the small red or blue arrow or dial on the face of the meter. If there is any movement, even slightly, you may have a leak. If you can isolate the leak to a fixture, typically a toilet, contact a plumbing professional for assistance, otherwise, call the BCWA.
You’ve probably heard that BCWA bills are high compared to other water utilities. This can vary based on how the comparisons are made. Due mainly to water conservation efforts, BCWA customers use about 41 gallons of water per person per day, compared to other water utilities where usage may be higher than 100 gallons per person per day. Should other water utilities’ consumption drop closer to that of the BCWA, they would need a significant rate increase to continue to operate their system. Furthermore, the low usage causes the BCWA to flush the system more often to maintain good water quality.
In addition, the BCWA is still paying for bonds used to finance the construction of the Cross-Bay Pipeline that brings a reliable water supply from Providence. That cost adds $157 per customer to the typical annual water bill, which other utilities do not have to pass on. An additional $33 per customer per year is for various capital projects to improve water quality, infrastructure upgrades, and increase operation efficiency.