anyone receive an extremely high sewer bill during past billing cycle?

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    In glancing at my water bills from July/August when we used lots of irrigation CCF in did not = CCF out but it wasn’t capped at 10 CCF. Our bill from Oct/Nov was 17 CCF in 13.5 CCF sewer. Our last bill, in which we had a broken water main that went undiscovered for some time was 34 CCF in and 34 CCF out – and we’re still waiting to hear about leak rebate program…….



    “How is my wastewater bill calculated?

    If you are a single family residential customer, your sewer bills are based on actual water usage during the winter period, November through April. If you use more water in the summer (May through October) than in the winter, your summer sewer bill will be based on your average winter water usage. This way, you are not assessed sewer charges for lawn and garden irrigation, car washing and other outdoor uses where the water does not enter the wastewater system. If you use less water in the summer than in the winter, your summer sewer bill will be based on your actual summer water usage.

    For non-residential and multifamily residential customers, sewer bills are based on actual water usage at all times of the year.”


    I don’t live in W. Seattle but came across this blog looking for help with my high water bill. Our family of 4 usually uses 12-13 ccf but the latest bill showed 31 ccf for a total of $478!! This also was over Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays where we were out of town for almost two weeks.

    I called the inspector (684-5803 – by the way, you can only call from 8-9 am and don’t leave a message – they won’t call you back!) He told me to check for leaks (both with the main line turned on, then off) and we have no leaks. Then he said it must be a running toilet and offered to come check them, which doesn’t make any sense because a running toilet would show on the meter during my leak test. After 3 phone calls and 20 minutes of the circular illogic, he said he couldn’t do anything else. I’m back at square one.

    I would love to hear if anyone with a huge water bill has gotten any answers. It seems that it has happened to so many people over the past billing cycle that it may be a systematic SPU problem.



    I don’t live in West Seattle either but my water bill almost quadrupled in Jan Feb Time frame. The water company told me to:

    1. check for leaks.

    2. check for toilet leak by adding dye to the water tank and seeing if it shows up in the toilet bowl.

    3. Have inspector come out and check on things.

    All of these things turned up no problem. I need to consider that there was a misreading as the house was for sale those three months and was empty. The Seattle water and sewar decission was that it was



    what a cliffhanger !

    now I’m curious.

    I wonder if it has something to do with Fonzie



    We had this happen about four years ago, while we were out of the house on vacation for three weeks of the billed time. We did the dye test, found no leaks, checked the meter, etc. Our bill was 3 times the usual 10 CCF. We called SPU and they said — at least at that time — that we could dispute the matter, they’ll investigate, and if nothing is found, then they’ll split the difference with us for a once-every-five years rate-dispute agreement (not sure what exactly it was called). Well, nothing was found (odd), so we did the once-every-five years thing. It wasn’t an exact split, they reduced it by about a third (funny how that works), but it was still better than paying close to $600. They then tried this “estimating” business on our next bill and we cried “foul” as we have a very easily accessible meter which can be easily read and I went out and read them what was on it. Their “estimation’ was far in excess of what the actual meter read (and yes, it was working, and nothing had ever been blocking it, etc).

    Guess we’ll have to watch this since we still have a year to burn before we can dispute another bill!

    Maybe if everyone on this thread disputes their bill they’ll investigate as these sound really out of the ordinary even with the increase (and I just saw this thread… I didn’t see it when it started a month or so ago).



    I contacted the water department last year as I’m finding the utility bills very,very hard on our budget. We checked for leaks, checked the integrity of our toilets, use the toilet multiple times before flushing, took three minute showers, were careful with the dishwasher as well as the clothes washer, etc. Anyway, they sent a very nice letter a week later commending us for our water conservation. No mention of the price of water/sewer being too high. Totally ignored the issue. ( BTW, my sister lives in southern California and she doesn’t pay near what we pay.) What gives?

    Our bill this month for 4 adults:

    15 CCF for both water and sewer

    Water = $76.36 / Sewer = $134.70




    I feel your pain Escondido.



    I e-mailed City Hall/ Customer Service with my concerns about the high sewer/water rates and they responded within just hours saying:

    “The City Council, which sets utility rates has a subcommittee which oversees the public utilities. It is chaired by Council Member Mike O’Brien. His office number is (206) 684-8800. You can also send him an e-mail at:

    There is more information about rising utility rates at the following webpage:”



    your bill is for a two month period if you live in a single family residence.

    15 ccf = 11,200 gallons.

    cost per gallon of water delivered to your house $76/11,200 gallons = $0.0067/gallon

    less than a penny a gallon. how much does water cost at the store? why would anyone buy bottled water at the store.



    Beef, thank you for the facts. Truly. That puts it in perspective. I do understand that having water delivered to our homes sure beats taking a bucket to the river and getting it ourselves! I guess what I meant to convey was that the rates have really gone up recently and that, combined with the price of other essentials (ie- food, gas) and incomes that have remained stagnant, I’m finding our home budget stretched quite thin.



    I have an update on why our bill was high. Basically, the city was estimating the amount of water usage as when we checked our meter there was no way it could be read because it was covered with dirt. We had to take some paper towels and WIndex to read it ourselves. When we read the amount back to the rep on the phone he said it was lower than what had been reported. The city credited us the overcharge on the next bill.



    We just got our latest one. For a family of 4 ours was 13 CCF which came to $116.74. It is actually down from 15CCF the same time last year.



    I’ve been puzzled by my water bills for a long time and this thread has only made me more concerned. I live in a 3 year old townhouse with dual-flush toilets and water-restrictive Miele appliances. And I’m fairly careful with my water use. I don’t take long showers. I don’t let sinks run. I replaced my lawn with a garden full of native species that don’t need much water. I never wash the car in the driveway. But somehow I have huge swings in my water use. Even during the periods when I’m away from home for up to a month, I tend to see no dip at all in my water bills.

    I recently compared bills with my neighbors who live in a townhouse which is identical to mine (with the exception of my upgraded appliances). They are a couple, I am single, and somehow in the billing period ending April 10 I used DOUBLE the water they did. I just makes no sense to me at all.



    i am afraid i am with christopher on this one…

    our latest bill indicates i am going to have to look into this further



    It might be something to look into. Years ago (talking, like 20) my husbands Grandparents moved into a condo. For a year and a half the condo association paid very large water bills. Turns out that the apartment next door was hooked up somehow to their meter and they were paying their water too!




    make sure all fixtures are turned off in your house. then go out and look at your meter and see if the dial is moving. that is the first place to start when looking for a leak.



    Beef: Thanks. Actually, I called the inspector this morning and he came right out. Nicest guy. A West Seattlite named Ken. We did a number of tests, including dye tablets in the toilet tanks. Then we shut the water main off. And yet the little silver triangle dial was still dancing around which Ken was concerned about. He was able to rule out leaks in the water mains (not a surprise considering the age of the house). But otherwise it is a puzzle and there doesn’t seem to be an easy solution for what accounts for all of the water use. We think it may have something to do with my hydronic heating system.



    I’m new to Seattle and so have no history water usage with which to compare … but we got our bill last night and it says our family of 4 used 26,180 gallons of water this billing period? For an average use of 459 gallons per day? Total bill= $541.46?? Our CCF for the period was 35 for a family consisting of two adults and two kids under the age of 4?

    We’ve only been here since August, so I’ve got little experience with this, but the water/sewage portion of our bi-monthly bills have been:

    $17.53 (1/2 a cycle as we moved in on Aug. 1)




    In what universe does this make sense?



    we just received a bill that was $50 LOWER than the last one.

    the last one (10 CCF) was estimated, and for this current one (6 CCF), they actually read the meter.

    so, if they only read your meter every other billing cycle (every 4 months), maybe it will work it self out ?

    I don’t know if this is the case, but if there are instances/ houses when they ONLY estimate usage, maybe one could read the meter and call them to tell them their estimate is way off.

    though if the higher usage amounts are based on actual readings, they will tell you to look for leaks as had been mentioned on the thread previously.



    Anyone receive a higher utility bill this month? Mine rose another $20 from last billing. Normal usage.



    Yes. The billing cycle or days measured was something like 20 days longer than last year same time. Not sure why. Sorry, don’t have it in front of me.

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