Shere Graham was shocked over Labor Day weekend when she received a notice from Water One that indicated she had high water usage.
When she received her monthly bill, it indicated she used about 260,000 gallons of water over two months. The previous two months her water usage was much less, at about 1,600 gallons of water.
“We received a bill for $1,271 dollars for water usage. Usually it's around $40 for two months so that was not good news," she said.
Like many homeowners this summer, Shere gave up on her lawn and didn’t turn on her sprinkler for most of the summer. She didn’t know how she and her husband managed to use 260,000 gallons of water.
After searching for a few days, Graham and her husband eventually found a leak in the plastic pipe that supports her sprinkler system.
“It never went into the street. There was never any sign that we had any sort of leakage,” she said.
Mandy Cawby, a spokeswoman for Water One said this is not an uncommon problem.
“It's been a big story this summer for not only water utility companies but for water customers all over: what the drought has done to affect pipes in the ground."
Lawn care experts say the dry conditions dry out the soil like a sponge, causing the soil to shift. This could have an effect on underground pipes or a home foundation.
Lawn care experts suggest homeowners check their sprinkler system once a week.
Cawby says there are signs that indicate homeowners may have a leak.
"I would watch for mushy spots or green spots that look out of place. Water running above ground is a red flag but that's why most people like to keep a close eye on their bill because some leaks you can't detect from the surface."
Meanwhile, Water One is working with Graham to reduce her bill.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Kansas Neighborhood News