How to Dispute the Water Company Over Water Usage

Written by amanda maddox
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How to Dispute the Water Company Over Water Usage
Water meters measure water usage. (water meter image by jimcox40 from

A water meter records the amount of water you use during a billing cycle. While meters are required to be certified, with time and use, they may become worn, causing them to malfunction. A meter reader's job, therefore, is not only to read your meter, but to inspect it for problems. If you have an issue with your current water usage, you have the right to dispute the reading and have a meter reader check for errors or maintenance issues.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Water bill
  • Meter reading

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  1. 1

    Look for the usage amount on your water bill. This number represents the gallons of water used during the billing period. The bill should provide the previous reading and the current period's reading. The number of gallons used is the total after subtracting the two numbers.

  2. 2

    Check your water meter by lifting the lid and locating the numbers. Write down the number showing your current usage. If there is a discrepancy, you have the proof to challenge the water company over your water usage.

  3. 3

    Visit or call your water company. Going to the water company is advisable, as you can actually carry a copy of your bill and the current meter reading. Ask for a copy of the water meter certification from the company. Check the date on the certification. Even if the reading is consistent, request that a meter reader check your meter for a malfunction if the certificate is more than one-year old. Generally, the water company sends someone out that day and performs a recheck.

  4. 4

    Request an appeal form. Complete the form, ensuring that you provide your name, address and account number. Also, supply the reason for your appeal and a copy of any proof.

  5. 5

    If the company's recheck investigations show the initial reading is erroneous, the water company will adjust your bill accordingly.

Tips and warnings

  • Check for leaks that you are responsible for by writing down the meter reading and turning off all of your water. Recheck the meter in about two hours to see if the number changes. If it does, you may have a water leak on your side of the meter.

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