High Bills & Leaks

An unusually high water bill is typically caused by a change in water use or a leak.

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

Check For Leaks

  • Toilets. A running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons a day. To check for a leak, put a few drops of food coloring in the tank. If color appears in the bowl , you have a leak. Check/replace the flapper valve. Flush to prevent the food coloring from staining the tank.
  • Check indoor and outdoor faucets.
  • Check sprinkler heads. 
  • Check your water service line (the pipe between your water meter and house). Look for wet spots in your yard. Turn off the supply to your house by closing the shut-off valve (typically located in the ground near an outdoor spigot in line with your water meter). Check your water meter. If water is flowing, that may indicate a leak between the meter and your shut-off valve.

Use Your Meter to Detect a Leak

Turn off all water fixtures inside and outside your home, then check the meter. If it registers water movement, that means water is being used somewhere, and you may have a leak.

New style water meter. A faucet icon appears on the display when flow patterns indicate a leak.

New water meter

Old style water meter. The red triangle turns when water flows through the meter.

Old-style water meter with red triangle leak indicator that spins when water flows through
Leak Adjustments
Charleston Water System offers leak adjustments on the sewer charges for leaks that qualify. Qualifying leaks are those in which water did not go into the sewer system. Toilet leaks do not qualify. Proof of repair is required.

A customer is eligible for one leak adjustment every three years. Request a leak adjustment

Pool Adjustments
If you fill a pool, you are are eligible for an adjustment on the sewer-related charges once every five years. 

Replacing a fixture? Look for the WaterSense Label
Toilets, faucet, and showerheads that bear the WaterSense label meet water efficiency criteria. They use 20% less water without sacrificing performance.

Water Sense EPA Logo