If you are visiting this page, more than likely Milcrofton Utility District staff members have directed you here for usage information; or you may have had a higher than expected usage on your monthly water bill. Please keep in mind, based on usage, you may or MAY NOT have a leak and your meter has noted continuous usage. There are many reasons for higher water bills. For example, leaking toilet(s), toilet handles sticking, dripping faucet(s), additional usage by guest/family, or a myriad of other reasons. Below are early steps you may consider taking to determine if you possibly have a leak in your water piping before calling a plumber.

If you have received a water utility bill with higher than expected usage for the month, please understand that water meters now are equipped with electronics that record consumption hourly. You may have received a phone call that your meter registered usage for 24 consecutive hours. This usage could be a measurement that equates to a very small drip or possibly a larger, more expensive leak. You have been notified of this continuous usage to provide you time to investigate your water usage and to possibly prevent a larger water bill. The following are steps you may consider in identifying a potential issue:

Step 1 – Verify your meter is not registering water usage when you are not intentionally using water.

Make sure you have turned off all faucets on the inside and outside of your house and turn off all water-consuming appliances in use such as washing machines, ice-makers, and dishwashers.

Locate your water meter, which in most cases will be at one of your property corners or in the middle of the yard about five feet from the road right-of-way.

Verify the water meter valve is in the “on” position by making sure you have water at your faucets when turning them on, but make sure you turn the faucet off after verifying the water meter is on.

3 of 3 Meter Screens (Software Version)
Your water meter has “selection button” that looks like a fingerprint on the face of the water meter. You can press the fingerprint until a gallons per minute (gpm) screen indicates how much water per minute is passing through the meter currently.

Look at the meter face for notification indicators: If the faucet indicator is illuminated, proceed to Step 2. If the circular indicator is not illuminated, indicating water is not moving when you view it, then possibly your issue was a short term scenario and was a result of something unknowingly left on or possibly a toilet(s) that has faulty internal parts that is letting water seep by periodically and goes unnoticed. If your meter water usage indicator was not illuminated indicating water usage, you still may want to monitor your toilets to make sure they are not allowing water usage when they are not being used.

Step 2 – If your meter’s water usage indicator (water faucet) is illuminated and you are sure you are not using water inside the residence, then begin tracing possible leaks from the meter to your faucets and toilets.

If possible, find a water shut off valve at your residence that will separate the water supply from the water meter to the house. The normal areas of shut off valves will be around your hot water heater, or where the water service line coming from the water meter enters the foundation of your home in the basement or crawl space. If you can shut off this valve and the (faucet) water usage indicator is still illuminated, then your water loss is probably between the water meter and the valve you shut off. At this point, look for signs of a water leak in your yard. Common areas that water leaks go undetected longer than normal are under concrete driveways, at the foundation of the house where the water is carried away underground by drains, or about two feet in front of the water meter box on the residence side. If you notice an area of spongy, wet soil around the water meter box when other areas in your yard are dry, then please call Milcrofton Utility District at 615-794-5947. If you hear a water leaking noise or see water spraying, flowing, or moving in the water meter box during your review then please call Milcrofton Utility District at 615-794-5947. The higher the GPM screen indicates your gallons per minute the higher the water usage on your next monthly bill will be.

Step 3 – If you did Step 2 successfully and the meter showed no usage or could not separate the plumbing in the yard and the residence then perform the following.

Turn the valve on again that you turned off in Step 2 (this is the valve at your house that you turned off to separate the house from the water line in your yard). Visit the water meter again and verify the meter still shows water usage on indicator. If this faucet indicator is illuminated you may want to look under the crawl space for any leaking pipes that could go unnoticed. Water usage from faucets and normal household appliances such as washing machines should be easily identifiable by noise or other signs of water leakage. Toilets are a main reason for unknown water usage inside a residence. You may try food coloring in the holding tank of the toilet to see if it seeps into the toilet bowl. A quick test that could be performed as well to prove a toilet is working improperly is to turn off all the shutoff valves that supply water to each toilet (these normally are the chrome valves directly under your toilets) in your home and again visit the water meter. Is the faucet indicator still illuminated? If the answer is no, then one of the toilets is likely the problem. If the answer is yes, and the meter gallons registered is still increasing, you may feel more comfortable calling a licensed plumber.

Please remember these items:

  1. A call from our Customer Service Representatives does not necessarily mean your water leak is a large one at the current time or that you actually have a leak. The call indicates the meter showed 24 hours of consecutive hourly usage no matter if it was very small amount of water usage or a large amount of water usage. Unfortunately, some leaks will be larger when you receive your bill.
  2. Never do any work inside a water meter box other than turning the water valve on or off. District employees perform all leak repairs inside the box. Homeowners and plumbers that remove the water meter from the meter box are subject to fines. Please call the office at 615-794-5947 if you have any questions.

I have determined that I have a leak, and my bill is a higher amount than usual. What should I do?

If you have confirmed a leak, and your bill is higher than usual, the most important thing you can do is stop/repair the leak.

If the due date for your water bill is coming soon, please pay the bill, even if repairs have not been completed. This will prevent your water service from being disconnected after the final due date and a $50 disconnection fee being assessed to your account. If the bill is too high for you to pay in full, please stop by our office to set up a payment arrangement. This will provide you more time to pay beyond the scheduled disconnect date. A partial payment is required to set up a payment arrangement, and this can only be done in person, at our office.

Once your repairs are complete, an adjustment to your bill may be possible.

If you are a sewer customer then please contact your sewer provider for their policy of a possible sewer adjustment. These adjustments are determined by the appropriate sewer authority.

Please note: If you have confirmed a leak but not yet received a higher water bill, you may choose to wait until after receiving your next bill to inquire about an adjustment. Leak adjustments are provided once every 12 month period.