high bill investigation

Start by answering these questions:

  • Have you had company staying in the home recently, or has there been an increase in the number of people living in the home?

  • Do you have any faucets or spigots with a slow drip or leak?  

  • Has your water softener been stuck cycling water?

    Occasionally water softeners will get stuck in the backwash or rinse mode, and will continue to cycle water through the unit until the problem is corrected. Older water softeners often get stuck cycling, especially after power outages.  Please check your softener periodically to to make sure it is not continually cycling water through.

  • Has a toilet been running ?

    Toilets are the most common cause for higher utility bills because they are a silent culprit - you may not notice that they are running, because the running water is often not seen or heard. There are 2 ways to test your toilet for leakage:

    Test #1 - Dye Test
  • Remove the top of the toilet tank cover.
  • Put a few drops of household food coloring into the tank.
  • Wait about 10 minutes - do not flush! 
  • Check the water color in the bowl of the toilet.  If the food coloring is now in the bowl of the toilet, you will probably need to replace some parts inside the tank.  Replacement parts can be purchased at a local hardware store.  You may choose to repair the toilet yourself, or you may wish to consult a plumber.

Test #2 - Stand Tube Test

  • Remove the top of the toilet tank cover. 
  • Sprinkle some powder on the top of the water. 
  • If the water level is too high, you will see the powder on top of the water drain into the stand tube.  This indicates a silent leak.  
  • To correct the problem, you will need to adjust the water level 1/2 inch below the stand tube. 



Your water meter can be used as a tool to check for leaks:

  • First, make sure that no water is being used (no dishwasher or washing machine should be running.)
  • On your water meter, locate the leak detector (usually a small black or red dial on the face of the meter.) If no water is being used, the leak detector should not be moving.  If the leak detector is moving, water is passing through the meter and there is a probably a leak.
  • If the leak detector is not moving, make a note of the meter reading and check the meter again after an hour (still making sure that no water is used inside the home during the entire hour.) If the meter reading has changed, there is a leak.
  • If you are unable to locate the source of the leak, please contact a plumber.  The City of Monroe does not provide leak location services.



If you have performed all tests above and your findings revealed that there are no leaks, you can contact the Utility Billing office at (513) 539-7374 to request an appointment for our Water Technicians come to your home and walk through to see if they can spot any possible problems.

PLEASE NOTE:  if our technicians find that the high usage is the result of a running/leaking toilet, a charge of $70.00 will be added to your next bill.

*An adult age 18 or older must be present at the time of the appointment.