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Money Matters
What's your water bill like?
By Moonlitefairy06member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 7177, member since Fri Apr 16, 2004
On Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:50 PM

So I got a note under my door on Tuesday saying that someone from the Water utility escorted by a building maintenance man would be inspecting my utility closet due to to "abnormally low water and sewage usage" on Wednesday (today). Now I have no idea if they actually came today, usually they leave a note if they came in the apartment but not this time. Anyway, I was kind of taken aback by it. When I signed the lease the rental agent said he thought my water bill would only be about $15 a month. It's been an average of $18 a month and I use around 900-1000 gallons. I live by myself and work full time. I don't need to do laundry or the run the dishwasher everyday or anything like that since it's just me. Since my bill has been a few dollars higher than I expected, yet the water company seems to not think it's high enough, I was curious what other people's water bills are and how much they use. I know it must vary based on drought conditions in your areas and stuff too. I'm in the DC metro area on the 12th floor of a 21 floor high rise. I've never had to pay for water before so I have no idea what's normal. My past apartment and college dorms it was all included and my parents have well water. Does 1000 gallons a month seem too low for one person? As I said they didn't say if they found anything wrong so I guess I'll see if anything changes on my next bill.

18 Replies to What's your water bill like?

re: What's your water bill like?
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member Comments: 8688, member since Sat Jul 10, 2004
On Thu Nov 13, 2014 12:33 AM
Edited by YumYumDoughnut (99333) on 2014-11-13 00:37:32
I would say about $75-$120 a month.

I do laundry once a day, and being the germaphobe, I wash my dishes under running water instead of in a filled sink.( we don't have a dish washer).
Between my Bf and I, we take 4 showers a day combined.

I also have 3 animals, so there is a lot more laundry due to washing dog beds, blankets etc.

We have been trying to cut down because of the drought, and we let our garden die so we aren't wasting so much water. Our water bill the last couple months have been on our lower end of normal. We have been making an effort to conserve water by turning off the skin when brushing our teeth etc.

One time we had a $400 bill, but that is when we were on vacation and our automatic sprinklers broke and they were going none stop for 3 days....that was a pain in the butt to fix. We just disconnected the sprinklers, and just let our lawn die,
re: What's your water bill like?
By CaffeinePremium member Comments: 3194, member since Wed Aug 08, 2007
On Thu Nov 13, 2014 04:22 AM
Our water bill is roughly AUD$75/month. (Note: we are a household of three, plus pets, in a detached house.)

The recent drought we had spurred the government and water authorities to encourage people to bring their water consumption down to 155 litres (~40 gallons) per day. For the most part we hover around that target, although it does increase a bit in summer. We have rainwater tanks for the garden, and ripped out the irrigation system put in by the previous owners. I do a load of washing every couple of days, plus extra on weekends. Dishes are washed in a sinkful of hot water, often using water from the kettle rather than running the water and waiting for it to heat up. I use a half flush on the toilet. We have short showers. Anything we can do to save water.

As for your question about 1000 gallons per month, a quick google suggests the average American uses 80-100 gallons per day. Using that as a guide, then your usage seems pretty low. If you're not home during the day then it makes sense that your water and sewage is lower than others.
re: What's your water bill like?
By schuhplattlerPremium member Comments: 3037, member since Sat Dec 23, 2006
On Thu Nov 13, 2014 05:18 AM
$18 sounds about right. I live in a duplex across the river from you and pay about $20, which includes sewage.

First, find out if the building manager or your landlord knows about this note. If neither, check for stolen goods, then check with the water company.

You never let utility personnel in without first checking for credentials.
re: What's your water bill like?
By Moonlitefairy06member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 7177, member since Fri Apr 16, 2004
On Thu Nov 13, 2014 07:41 AM
The note came from the building and it said they would be escorted by a maintenance man. Nothing is missing and they did give me notice that they were coming (I'm not home during the day most days so I wouldn't be able to escort them). They were also scheduled to come yesterday to change the air conditioner filter and they did do that. The hallway was all lined with filters in the morning and there was a paper saying they were there for the air conditioner, but not for the water. I was just curious of what normal water usage would be. I figured I was probably under it but I didn't think I was that far under it since the bill is higher than I thought it would be by a few dollars. Though who knows how much I use at work.
re: What's your water bill like?
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 11321, member since Sun Nov 23, 2003
On Thu Nov 13, 2014 08:53 AM
It's weird to me when anyone's renting and has to pay water. In my neck of the woods, the water bill is almost always included in the rent.
re: What's your water bill like?
By Moonlitefairy06member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 7177, member since Fri Apr 16, 2004
On Thu Nov 13, 2014 09:09 AM
I thought it was weird too. my last building didn't do that. I'm used to paying gas, electric and cable/internet but water is a new bill for me. I didn't even think to ask about water when I signed the lease tbh, it's not a huge deal but I could certainly put that $18 to something else each month. But I guess you can't live without water. My parents have well water so no water bill there. I'd be super curious how much they use though.
re: What's your water bill like?
By Chaconnemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 6359, member since Thu Jul 12, 2007
On Thu Nov 13, 2014 09:43 AM
By comparison (just asked my wife) our bill from the Maryland side of the river...I live about 20 miles from Moonlightfairy...was $84 for the most recent quarter and according to her the 3 month water/sewerage bill usually ranges between $75 and $100 per quarter. This is for a full-sized 4 bedroom 2 1/2 bath stand-alone house and a regional water utility. We have two adults here who take daily showers. We had almost no lawn watering this year as our rain was distributed well enough not to require much. About the only time we watered was after our lawn service fertilized and we have to water then if we get no rain. My wife does water the outside plants in planters a couple times a week in season. All our toilets are recent and are 1.5 gallon/flush and the one most used is a pressure flush that uses less than a gallon. We have a full washer/drier combo and a dishwasher. We also do our own occasional car washing.

Jon
re: What's your water bill like?
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5889, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Thu Nov 13, 2014 09:44 AM
Okay, I asked my mom. Four adults in an apartment, $30 (actual water part is probably 20, includes pest control and some other stuff). When we lived in a house it was $200. We used the same amount of water in both (sans watering flowers). Definitely not asking questions about why it's so cheap here.
re: What's your water bill like?
By Chaconnemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 6359, member since Thu Jul 12, 2007
On Thu Nov 13, 2014 09:52 AM
Some apartment buildings were built with idea that some day they might be converted to condos. If that was in the plans, metering of the individual units was provided. My first house, a townhouse was originally intended to be rental units, but neighbors objected and they instead were sold vs. rented. But they did not meter every unit so the developer had to set up a condominium structure (we were the first in the state of MD) to accommodate this. The condo unit I own in Wisconsin has common metering for the whole building and I pay my tenants water bill through my monthly condo fee which include several other services (ground maintenance, trash pick up, winter shoveling, insurance on the building etc.) I, of course build that into the amount of rent I charge my tenant.

Jon
re: What's your water bill like?
By schuhplattlerPremium member Comments: 3037, member since Sat Dec 23, 2006
On Thu Nov 13, 2014 05:59 PM
Keep in mind that the OP's bill is per month, while some responders are quoting per-quarter rates, and some are not stating their billing period.
re: What's your water bill like?
By majahayes Comments: 92, member since Mon Dec 01, 2008
On Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:32 AM
I find it strange you have to pay for water. Where I live cold water is free, you only have to pay for the gas used to heat it
re: What's your water bill like?
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 12490, member since Fri Aug 27, 2004
On Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:09 PM
We pay between $30 and $60 per month. It is only two of us, we live in the desert on two acres of rural land so there is very little watering going on outside, no lawn, just natural landscape. As desert dwellers living in a drought state we are very thrifty with our water. My husband collects our rare rainfall in barrels. I alternate showers with sponge baths. Hubby pees outside to reduce flushes. We could probably get the bill down further if not for some trees that need watering at certain times of the year.
re: What's your water bill like?
By saaammiemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 440, member since Thu Apr 01, 2010
On Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:40 PM
I actually don't know. It's included in my rent. I would guess it's not terribly high though, as I live alone and have neither dishwasher nor washing machine (I wish!)
re: What's your water bill like?
By Krystalmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 8458, member since Tue Sep 02, 2003
On Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:28 PM
I live in a two story townhouse with my husband, and our water bill has never been more than $25. It usually averages right at $20. I do laundry twice a week (a load each day), and we each take one shower a day. Dishes every night and dishwasher maybe once a week.

We aren't ultra-conservative with water usage but we don't just let it run either. We also have to pay a flat rate of $38/month for the sewer.
re: What's your water bill like?
By Tansey Comments: 2367, member since Fri Mar 27, 2009
On Fri Nov 28, 2014 09:41 AM
Does the $18/month cover both water and sewer? If so that's very inexpensive. 900 - 1000 gallons/month does sound low. Most of the time it's just me, my dog and my cat at my house. I just got a water bill this week for the past 6 months. It was just under $145 which comes out to about $24/month. It doesn't include sewer (we don't have city sewer systems out here). My water usage averaged 2,000 gallons per month. Since those 6 months did encompass the summer, that bill would also include some outside watering of the garden, but as I recall this summer we had enough rain that I didn't have to water outside very much at all.

Did you hear back from building management after the inspection as to whether anything was learned?
re: What's your water bill like?
By Moonlitefairy06member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 7177, member since Fri Apr 16, 2004
On Sun Nov 30, 2014 10:45 PM
No I never heard back, I'll see what my next water bill looks like, it should come soon, and see if there's a major change. Since they didn't say anything I would guess nothing is wrong.

Yes it does include water and sewage. But I would guess I probably flush the toilet more at work than I do at home, or at least close since I'm there for most of the day, but I've started doing more teleworking so that might change too. Who knows?
re: What's your water bill like?
By Moonlitefairy06member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 7177, member since Fri Apr 16, 2004
On Mon Dec 01, 2014 05:30 PM
Well i got my bill and interesting enough it's super low this month. I did go away for a long weekend though. It says I only used 670 gallons and the bill is only $12.66 this time. The bill dates are October 16th to November 16th and I was away the 7th-9th. That does seem kind of low to me, but they inspected on the 12th. Who knows? But I won't complain about a lower bill!
re: What's your water bill like?
By SaraTheGrouchmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 8600, member since Thu Apr 17, 2003
On Mon Dec 01, 2014 08:52 PM
My water/sewer bill was $36 every month. I forget how much the breakdown was for each, but it was consistently that every single month for 3 years. I moved and now the water/sewer is factored into my rent, so I've got no idea what it's like here.

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