Why Is My Water Bill So High?

If you received a call indicating that your water usage is higher than normal or you have received a bill that you believe is too high, check over the common causes listed below to help pinpoint the source of the high bill. An unusually high water bill is most likely caused by a leak or a change in water usage.


  • Toilets
  • Faucets
  • Shower heads
  • Water heater
  • Temperature/pressure valve/pop off valve
  • Supply line- under sinks
  • Water softener
  • Ice maker
  • Washing machine
  • Previous repair not holding and may need to be repaired again


  • Service line
  • Irrigation system (sprinkler heads, number of zones, settings for number of days and hours in use)
  • Outside spigots
  • Pools
  • Spas/Hot tubs
  • Separate or dedicated line
  • Previous repair not holding and may need to be repaired again

When assessing the source of high usage, it may be helpful to determine if there is a leak inside or outside of your home. First, locate your meter which is normally found in your front yard near the street, inside a meter box. Next, make sure all water-related items are turned off inside your home, and turn off the main shut-off valve if your home is equipped with one.

Go to the meter box and carefully remove the lid.

Look for the red or blue cog as seen in the pictures below:


This cog is a leak indicator. If all water has been turned off to your home and this cog is turning it would indicate that you probably have a leak between the meter and your home. It is the responsibility of the account holder to maintain those lines and it may be necessary to contact a plumber to locate and repair your leak.

If water is flowing or leaking inside your meter box when you opened the lid, please call us immediately at 205-663-6155, extension 1 and we will have someone come out to determine if the leak is the responsibility of the Alabaster Water Board.

If the cog is not turning the leak may be in your home and could be from one of the items listed above. Some of these items could cause an intermittent leak which will require monitoring water using devices. Check toilets to ensure they are not running, make sure faucets are turned off completely, or check the ice maker to ensure it is cutting off after filling.

Keep in mind that some higher bills are due to changes in water usage. Did you have house guests, water your lawn more than usual, power wash, leave a faucet dripping due to freezing temperatures, or fill a pool or hot tub?

If you are still uncertain of the cause of your higher bill/leak, please call our office at 205-663-6155, extension 1 to speak with a Customer Service Representative. Many of our meters have a data transmitter attached to them and we can pull that data to determine if your water is running continuously or intermittently. We can also provide you with dye tablets to determine if your toilets are the source of higher usage.

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