Understanding Your Water Bill

The first step in changing the way you use water in the future is by understanding how much water you use today. The best place to find this information is on your monthly water bill. Pull out your water bill and follow the steps below to learn more about it and your own water use.

how is my water bill calculated

The most common units are centum cubic feet (CCF) and the gallon. A CCF also called an HCF (hundred cubic feet), represents one hundred cubic feet of water. … The average American uses around 88 gallons per day per person in the household. That means a family of four would use around 10,500 gallons in a 30-day period.

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Different utilities use different units for measuring water use. The most common units are centum cubic feet (CCF) and the gallon. A CCF also called an HCF (hundred cubic feet), represents one hundred cubic feet of water. The first “C” comes from the Roman word for hundred, “centum.” This is the most common unit used by both water and natural gas utilities. But you may be more familiar with the other unit, the gallon. One CCF is equal to 748 gallons.

What does your usage mean? The average American uses around 88 gallons per day per person in the household. That means a family of four would use around 10,500 gallons in a 30-day period. But usage varies a great deal across the country, mostly because of differences in weather patterns. For example, water use tends to be higher in drier areas of the country that rely more on irrigation for outdoor watering than in wetter parts of the country that can rely on more rainfall.

Based on information from Water Research Foundation, “Residential End Uses of Water, Version 2.” 2016; and The US Geological Survey, “Estimated Water Use in the United States.” 2010.

What is your usage trend?

Does your bill explain your households usage trend? Some utilities provide graphs like the ones below that show how your water use has varied over the course of the year and previous years. This can be a helpful way of seeing when your own water use reaches its highest levels.

While using water efficiently is important throughout the year, sometimes the timing of water use can make a big difference for community water supplies—and your water bill. WaterSense has tips to help you reduce your water use when its hot outside.

Water utilities operate with this higher, summertime use in mind because they must be able to provide for all the water a community needs over an extended period. Some systems may be forced to restrict outdoor watering during the peak to ensure that water is available for more important community needs.

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