Have you ever received an unexpected letter from your water department notifying you of higher-than-normal water usage? If so, you’re not alone. 

Water utilities like the Saint Paul Regional Water Services (SPRWS) monitor water consumption patterns to detect potential issues. 

Let’s explore why they might send you such a letter and what common culprits could be driving up your water bill. 

Detecting Unusual Water Usage

The SPRWS and similar water utilities are equipped with sophisticated monitoring systems that track the water usage of individual households. When a significant deviation from your typical consumption is detected, they take action by notifying you. 

This proactive approach serves both to inform consumers and to identify potential water wastage or leaks. 

The Sneaky Culprits: Leaking Faucets and Running Toilets

When it comes to unexplained increases in water usage, the usual suspects are often leaking faucets and running toilets. These seemingly minor issues can result in surprisingly large amounts of wasted water over time. 

1. Leaking Faucets: A Drip in the Bucket

close-up of dripping bathroom faucet

A dripping faucet might not seem like a big deal, but the cumulative effect of those steady drops adds up. Just one drip per second can waste gallons of water each day. Imagine the impact if left unaddressed for weeks or months. 

Signs of a Leaking Faucet

  • Constant dripping sound
  • Visible pooling or moisture around the faucet
  • Increased water bill without any noticeable change in usage habits

Repairing a Leaky Faucet

  1. Shut off the water supply to the faucet
  2. Remove any decorative caps or handles
  3. Loosen and remove the valve stem assembly
  4. Replace any worn or damaged parts, such as washers or O-rings
  5. Reassemble the faucet and turn the water back on
  6. Check for leaks and make adjustments if necessary

Faucet repairs tend to be relatively simple but can get complicated if the issue is underneath the sink or in the plumbing. If you’re not sure how to fix it yourself, don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber for help. 

2. Running Toilets: Silent Water Wasters

Man's hand jiggling toilet handle of running toilet

A running toilet is one of the most common and stealthy culprits behind high water bills. The toilet’s internal mechanisms often malfunction, causing it to run and refill continuously. This constant flow can go unnoticed, particularly if the toilet is rarely used or if the leakage is internal. 

Signs of a Leaking Toilet

  • Constant sound of running water in the toilet tank
  • Visible movement or continuous refilling of the toilet bowl
  • Higher-than-normal water bills without any significant change in usage habits

Repairing a Running Toilet

  1. Check and adjust the chain on the flapper valve
  2. Inspect and replace any worn or damaged parts, such as the flapper or float
  3. Clean the valve seat to ensure a proper seal
  4. Adjust the water level in the tank if necessary
  5. Test for leaks and make any necessary adjustments

Taking Action

If you suspect a leaking faucet or running toilet, it’s important to address the issue promptly. This will help conserve water, lower your utility bills, and prevent potential damage to your plumbing system. 

Finding Reliable Plumbing Services

In the Saint Paul and Minneapolis metro area, trustworthy plumbers like St Paul Pipeworks specialize in diagnosing and repairing plumbing issues, including leaky faucets and running toilets. Feel free to reach out if you need assistance resolving water-related concerns. 

Learn More About SPRWS

For further information about Saint Paul Regional Water Services, visit their official website here. 


Receiving a letter from your water department regarding excessive water usage is a reminder to investigate potential leaks or inefficiencies in your plumbing system. 

By promptly addressing issues such as leaking faucets and running toilets, you can conserve water, save money on utility bills, and contribute to sustainable water management practices. 

Remember, a small leak today can lead to significant water wastage tomorrow. 

Yours Truly, 

Matthew Dettwiler 

Social Media Manager 


Q: Why did the water department send me a letter?

A: Water departments like SPRWS monitor water usage to detect potential issues and notify consumers of any unusual spikes in consumption.

Q: What are common culprits of high water bills?

A: Leaking faucets and running toilets are often responsible for unexplained increases in water usage.

Q: How can I check if my toilet is leaking?

A: To check for a leak, lift the tank lid and observe for movement or listen for running water. If you suspect a leak, it’s best to contact a professional plumber to address the issue promptly.

Q: How can I find reliable plumbing services?

A: In the Saint Paul and Minneapolis metro area, plumbers like St Paul Pipeworks specialize in diagnosing and repairing plumbing issues, including leaky faucets and running toilets. Don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance with water-related concerns.

Q: How can I learn more about SPRWS?

A: Visit their official website [here]() for more information on the services provided by the Saint Paul Regional Water Services. Remember, addressing issues promptly can save you money and contribute to sustainable water management practices. So don’t ignore that letter from your water department – it could be a sign of a small leak that needs fixing before it becomes a bigger problem.

Why Did the Water Department Send Me a Letter? Understanding Water Usage