The City of Garland Customer Service Department has responded to a large number of water-related billing inquiries during the month of August. As in other neighboring cities, inquiries appear to be the result of water rates steadily increasing during the past seven years and the easing of watering restrictions, which now permit twice a week lawn watering.
Much of the dramatic increase in water usage can be attributed to the record-breaking rainfall during May and June, immediately followed by the extremely dry weather north Texas experienced during July and August. Additionally, water rates have increased significantly since 2010 due to increases in the rate charged by Garland’s water supplier, the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD).
Our response to these concerns typically includes a review of the customer’s usage history to identify unusual fluctuations in usage, an evaluation of weather data, verification of the accuracy of meter readings, and an inspection of the meter for any indication of a water leak. After rechecking hundreds of meters, most meters are found to be operating correctly, readings and bills are accurate, no water leakage is occurring, and usage is similar to that of previous summers within the past 10 years (with the exception of summer 2014, when lawn watering was more restrictive).
Important steps to consider when reviewing your utility bill:
Review your sprinkler control settings to make sure your system is set for the appropriate frequency and duration.
Check swimming pool control systems.
Check all indoor and outdoor water systems for leaks.
Call Customer Service at 972-205-2671 to discuss concerns, request a usage review or meter recheck, or schedule a water or electric usage audit of your home.
Other important facts:
The City utilizes a drive-by wireless communication device to read meters every month. Rechecks include a visual inspection.
Garland’s water rates increased by 10% in 2014 to support regional water system improvements by North Texas Municipal Water District (Garland’s water supplier).
On average, watering your lawn for 30 minutes uses the same amount of water as 24 10-minute showers or running your dishwasher 60 times.
Learn more about water conservation at NorthTexasWaterIQ.org.
Learn more about energy conservation at GPLTexas.org/energysaver.html.
Concerns about water bills also have been in the news. Here are just a few examples: