An increase of 400% or more in your Water bill is preventable!
Whether it is at home or at work, unusually high water bills are frustrating! This can be a result of improper programing of the irrigation system or an undetected water leak. Finding out where the high usage comes from is the first step to solving high water bills.
In Daytona Beach, Debary, and other similar cities in Volusia County, the average person uses approximately 100 gallons per day, and in a household of 4 that can be a total of 12,000 gallons per month of water usage. The largest use of household water is flushing toilets – this uses an average of 3 gallons; showers –average up to 5 gallons per minute; and baths – average 36 gallons. Dishwashers use between 6 to 16 gallons per cycle and clothes washers use about 25 gallons per load. 
Irrigation Systems use about 2 gallons per minute which can be a significant amount of usage depending on length of watering time. A broken sprinkler head can lose 20 gallons per minute or 300 gallons if the zone runs for only 15 minutes. Multiplying that by 2 times a week, that’s over 2400 gallons a month in wasted water.
Having a water leak with a loss of half a gallon of water per minute may not sound like a lot, however this can add up over the days, weeks and month resulting in a shockingly high water bill. A continuous water leak of half (1/2) gallon of water per minute, is 30 gallons per hour, 720 gallons per day, and almost 22,000 gallons per month! This is in addition to the typical household water usage.
A water leak can increase a typical $140-150 monthly water bill to over $450 per month! This is a 300% - 400% increase in your water bill! Monitoring the water consumption on irrigation systems and paying attention to signs of water leaks are crucial to ensuring you control your household expenses and avoid unnecessary waste.
First, check your sprinkler system programming. Most cities/counties have designated two watering days and times per week.
Secondly, check for leaks. An easy way to check for a leak is to read the water meter. When all water outlets in the home are turned off, the water meter dial or flow indicator should stop. If it does not, you most likely have a leak. Leaks in irrigation systems can be caused by different issues including breaks in pipes, degraded seals, broken or missing sprinkler heads, or bad solenoids and valves.
- Breaks in pipes can be caused if they freeze and burst in the winter. Draining the lines or having automatic valves can prevent this.
- Degraded seals can occur from wear, heat and age, and can start leaking.
- Solenoid and valves are a common cause of irrigation issues and leaks. Loose solenoids, debris in values or corroded parts can cause a malfunction and require replacement of the solenoid.
Year round in Florida, it is important to have a good maintenance routine for your irrigation system. This will help ensure optimal function and leak prevention. Check for unusually high water consumption that can indicate hidden leaks, verify irrigation system programing, and maintain equipment in good working condition. With this simple process, you can go a long way in keeping your water bills under control. Enjoy your summer!
 Daytona Beach Incorporated “Inside City” publication http://codb.us/DocumentCenter/View/891
 USGS Water Science School https://water.usgs.gov/edu/qa-home-percapita.html