A high water bill can be a frustrating surprise for homeowners, especially when you are already trying to keep your household expenses in check. 

Understanding why your water bill is high is essential because it allows you to take action to reduce your usage and save money. 

So what causes expensive water bills? Here are just a few of the many factors that can lead to slapping your hip pocket:

  • undetected leaks
  • wasteful water habits
  • inefficient fixtures and appliances
  • outdoor water usage during the summer period
  • the pricing structures of your water and sewerage services. 

In this article, we’ll explore some of these contributing factors in more detail and provide tips for reducing consumption to save money on your high water bill.

Understanding your Water Bill 

Your water bill provides much more information than just the amount you owe. 

It also includes:

  • your average daily usage
  • the billing period, and 
  • the current meter reading. 

By understanding these details, you can plan ahead and adjust your water consumption to avoid a higher bill. You can also compare your current bill to previous ones or use the average daily usage graph to see if your water consumption has increased significantly. 

Tip: If you have an irrigation system, check it regularly for leaks or malfunctions that could contribute to your higher-than-normal bill.

Common Reasons for High Water Bills

Understanding the common reasons behind high water bills is critical to unravelling this mystery and taking steps to address the issue. 

In this section, we will explore the common reasons for high water bills, shedding light on potential culprits and providing insights on how to resolve them.

By identifying these factors and implementing appropriate measures, you can regain control over your water consumption and save money.

1. Undetected Leaks

Undetected leaks can be a significant contributor to a high water bill. Even a small one can save a lot of water over time, resulting in climbing costs.

It’s essential to check for leaks regularly to ensure you catch them early. Some signs of a leak include water stains on ceilings or walls, musty odours, or the sound of running water when no taps are turned on. 

If you suspect a leak, locating and fixing it promptly is important to avoid unnecessary water waste and a high water bill. 

2. Leaky or Running Toilets

A leaky or running toilet can waste a significant amount of water. 

Even a tiny leak can result in hundreds of gallons wasted daily. Common causes of toilet leaks include worn-out flapper valves, faulty fill valves, or improperly adjusted float mechanisms. 

3. Leaky Faucets and Fixtures

Dripping faucets and leaky fixtures, like showerheads and valves, can also contribute to a high water bill. 

These leaks may seem minor, but they can add up over time. A leaky faucet can often be fixed by temporarily turning off your taps, replacing a worn-out washer or seal, and addressing the issue can significantly conserve water and lower your bill. 

4. Leaking Washing machines or Dishwashers 

Faulty washing machines or dishwashers can lead to water waste and higher bills. Leaks in these appliances can occur due to worn-out hoses, loose connections, or damaged seals. 

Regularly inspecting these appliances and promptly addressing any leaks or malfunctions can help you avoid excessive usage and save money.

5. Underground Leaks in Pipes 

Undetected leaks in underground pipes can be a hidden culprit behind high water bills. 

These leaks are often easier to identify with professional assistance. Signs of underground leaks may include damp or muddy areas in your yard, unexplained vegetation growth, or a sudden decrease in water pressure. 

If you suspect an underground leak, it’s essential to contact a professional plumber who can use specialised equipment to locate and repair the issue.

6. excessive water usage due to lifestyle

Changes in your household’s water usage habits can contribute to a higher water bill. For example, hosting guests, starting a new hobby, or changing personal hygiene routines can increase consumption. 

Being mindful of your usage and adopting water-saving habits can help you manage your consumption and keep your bill in check.

7. inefficient fixtures and appliances  

Old or inefficient fixtures and appliances can also trigger climbing costs.

For example, toilets, showerheads, and faucets that are not water-efficient can save time. 

Upgrading to water-efficient ones can help you reduce usage and save money on your high water bill. 

Did you know? A low-flow toilet can use up to 60% less water than a traditional toilet, while a water-efficient washing machine can save you up to 40 litres per load.


During summer, people tend to water their lawns and gardens more frequently. 

To reduce outdoor usage and save money, consider using drip irrigation or a rain barrel to collect rainwater for your plants. 

You can also water your lawn and garden early in the morning or evening when the sun is not as intense, which will reduce evaporation and ensure that the water gets absorbed by the soil. 

Tip: Avoid using sprinklers if you want to reduce your consumption.


Problems with your irrigation system can result in significant water wastage. 

Issues can include:

  • broken sprinkler heads,
  • damaged pipes, and 
  • misaligned spray patterns. 

Regularly inspecting and maintaining your irrigation system can help you promptly identify and address these issues, ensuring water is distributed efficiently to your landscape and minimising loss.


Outdated or inefficient plumbing fixtures can consume more water than necessary. Older toilets, showerheads, and faucets may not be designed to conserve effectively. 

To combat this, upgrade to water-efficient fixtures designed to reduce usage and contribute to long-term savings on your bill. 

Checking the Water Meter 

A water meter can actually tell you a lot. 

  1. Start by turning off all water-consuming appliances and ensuring no water is used in your home. 
  2. Take note of the meter reading and wait for a few hours without using any water. 
  3. If the meter reading has changed during this period, it indicates a leak in your system. 

Occasionally, water meters can malfunction, leading to inaccuracies in measuring your usage. 

If you suspect your meter is malfunctioning, contact your utility to request an inspection or meter test to rule out defects.

Monitoring Water Pressure 

Abnormally high water pressure can lead to leaks in pipes and fixtures; here’s how you can see if pressure is causing the overall problem:

  1. Use a water pressure gauge to measure the pressure at various points in your system.
  2. If the pressure exceeds the recommended range (typically 40-80 psi), consider installing a pressure regulator to prevent leaks.

Understanding Water Utility Pricing Structures

Understanding the pricing structures of your utility provider is also important because it can affect your overall water bill. 

For example, some utilities charge a flat rate for usage, while others use a tiered pricing structure that charges more for higher usage levels. 

Water utility pricing structures vary depending on the specific policies and regulations in a particular area. 

Key Takeaways

Dealing with a high water bill can be frustrating and unexpected. However, by familiarising yourself with common causes of inflated bills and applying the following tips, you can reduce water usage and save money. 


  • It’s essential to keep a close eye on your water bills
  • Promptly address any leaks or water-related issues
  • Adopt water-saving habits
  • Install water-efficient fixtures and appliances
  • Implement outdoor water conservation strategies
  • Understand your water utility’s pricing structure. 

It’s important to remember that even small changes in your water habits can significantly impact your bill and the environment. 

Our team of skilled professionals can offer expert advice, efficiently detect and fix leaks, and help you optimise your water consumption. 

Don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule a consultation and regain control over your usage. Start implementing water-saving practices now and make a positive impact.