“Why is my water bill so high?”
The Utility Billing Office often gets calls from confused residents who’ve been caught off guard by a high water bill. Usually the problem is something simple that could happen to anyone. Maybe a timer on a sprinkler wasn’t set properly. Maybe water was flowing through a toilet due to a hidden hangup (this is one of the most common ones that we see).
An underground leak can also lead to an unexpected surge in usage. Many residents experienced this firsthand during the February winter freeze, when broken pipes around the city caused their water to run straight into the ground. Of course, the city waived excess water fees during that time, but residents who experience these invisible leaks under different circumstances could be on the hook for a high bill.
By looking back at your water usage data, the Utility Billing Office can help you pinpoint why your usage increased, but what if you could identify these problems and nip them in the bud before you get stuck with the bill? Good news: You can. If you’re a City of Victoria water customer, you can sign up for WaterWise at no additional cost to track your usage, receive alerts and more.
WaterWise works by measuring how much water is flowing through your water meter. If the system detects a sudden increase in water flow, you’ll receive an email alert letting you know that something might be wrong. You can also arrange to receive alerts if your water usage goes above a certain threshold during a fixed period of time, which is great if you’re going on vacation and want to be notified of leaks or other potential issues.
The WaterWise online portal also gives you the option to compare your day-to-day or month-to-month water usage, which can help you understand your usage and set conservation goals. You can even view recent rainfall amounts and other weather-related information. Do you have multiple water meters? WaterWise will track them separately.
Signing up for this free service is easy: Simply go to victoriawaterwise.com and register using your email address and account number, which can be found on your water bill.
To give you even greater peace of mind, the Utility Billing Office offers convenient remote options for paying your bill. To make a payment over the phone, you can call our new automated phone system at 855-786-4109. You can also pay online by visiting www.victoriatx.gov/waterbill. If you’d like to avoid paying a convenience fee, you can set up a bank draft by contacting our office at 361-485-3400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope that saving water with WaterWise will inspire you to be environmentally friendly in other areas of your life. For a start, you can sign up for paperless billing through our online payment system at www.victoriatx.gov/waterbill.
Michelle Ozuna is the Utility Billing Office manager for the City of Victoria.