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Water Leaks

I think I may have a water leak, what should I do?

Do you suspect you may have a water leak? Has your usage on your water utility bill increased without explanation? Perhaps you’ve noticed a sunken or overly wet area in your yard or landscaping. Any one of these may be an indicator of a possible water leak.

Where do I start?

First off, look for anything obvious…Outside, check for any overly wet or green areas in an otherwise dry yard. Inside, look and listen to your toilet to see if it is running when not in use. If you have a crawl space, look in with a flashlight for any damp or wet areas. If need be, the Public Works Department can send an employee out to check your meter for signs of flow. REMEMBER, once the water has gone through your meter, you are responsible for payment for that water, regardless of whether or not you have a leak.

I’ve found the leak, now what?

Depending on the severity, you may be able to make the repairs yourself, or need to hire a plumber or contractor. Most home improvement stores have a variety of information and parts for repairs such as a leaking toilet valve or sink. If a contractor or plumber is needed, ask around, and try to get more than one bid. Ask for written estimates, as well as referrals.

I’ve made the repair; can I get a credit on my bill?

For homeowners (non-commercial customers) the simple answer is no. As stated earlier, once the water passes through your meter, you are responsible for those charges. That is why we recommend keeping track of your usage, and repairing any leaks promptly.

For commercial customers, the answer is a little more complicated. Unlike homeowners (whose sewer charges are flat rate, regardless of water use), commercial accounts have the sewer portion of their bills based off a flat rate, and an additional charge depending on the amount of water use. The majority of the sewer bill charges are for collection and treatment of the sewage.

If a commercial customer had a leak, they may be granted a ONE-TIME credit towards the SEWER portion only of the affected, most recent bill, only if ALL of the following criteria are met:

  • The leak must be substantiated through pictures, verified by a PW employee, or well documented on a repair bill; and,
  • The leak must not have resulted in any of the leaking water entering the Sewer system;
  • The leak must be physically repaired; and,
  • The account must currently be in good standing; and,
  • the request for a credit must be submitted in writing along with all pertinent documentation to the City of Fife.
If all of those criteria are met, then a ONE-TIME credit to the SEWER portion only of the most recent affected bill will be issued. The reasoning behind this is, if the water leaked out before actual use, and did not enter the sewer system, then we will credit your account for not having to collect and treat that water as sewage.

The credit will be based on the difference in usage during the past 12 month period, or the past 3 year billing cycle periods, whichever is HIGHER.

Please call the city of Fife Public Works Department if you have any further questions. 253.922.9315
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