Over the past few days, Pueblo West Metropolitan District has received dozens of phone calls and messages via social media regarding higher than expected water bills from the last billing cycle. Pueblo West wants to ensure our customers that we understand your concerns and are taking this situation seriously.
Pueblo West Utilities Department billing cycles are based on meter reads that start approximately the 10th or 11th of each month and read through the 10th or 11th of the following month. This past billing period started on May 9 and ran to June 13, thus making four extra days on customers’ bills.
Water bills are determined by the recorded gallons of consumption. The consumption is tiered in the following way:
Consumption (in gallons)
Residential Rate (per every thousand gallons consumed)
0 – 5,000
$2.09 per every thousand gallons consumed
5,001 – 10,000
$3.14 per every thousand gallons consumed
10,001 and above
$5.50 per each thousand gallons consumed
This means that if a customer has 12,000 gallons of consumption during a billing period, they are billed at $2.09 per thousand gallons consumed up to 5,000 gallons, then gallons between 5,001 and 10,000 are billed at $3.14 per thousand gallons consumed, and then the additional 2,000 gallons are billed at $5.50 per each thousand gallons consumed. A customer with 12,000 gallons consumed does not get billed at the highest tier for all 12,000 gallons. Rather, their consumption is divided into 5,000-gallon sections and charged at the corresponding rate as stated in the chart above.
Pueblo West Utilities Department believes the higher bills are a result of warmer and drier weather that resulted in higher usage as compared to other periods this year. The average high temperatures during the months of April, May, and June were 67, 70, and 87 respectively, with 23 days over 90 and very little measurable rain. Consumption also increases in the summer months as more customers run swamp coolers, fill swimming pools, and water lawns and gardens. If your consumption rate has increased unexpectedly, and you have done none of the aforementioned, you may have a leak. Pueblo West Utilities has identified and confirmed that several of the customers who raised concerns did indeed have leaks. Sometimes leaks can be very subtle and unnoticeable. For instance, a leaky toilet can result in 6,000 gallons of usage over the course of a month.
The bar graph on your bill shows a year’s worth of consumption, allowing customers to compare their consumption for this billing period with the same period from the previous year (Example below).
The graph allows you to compare last June’s consumption with this June’s consumption. If your consumption is significantly higher for this billing period than the same period last year, you may have a leak. If your consumption in June is significantly higher than May, it may be a result of an abnormality that occurred within our billing system. Some customers may have been under-billed in May, thus resulting in a higher June bill. As a result, some customers this billing cycle may have received an abnormal graph that omitted the month of May (see below). This will be corrected on your next billing statement. If your bill appears to be unexpectedly high, even compared to the same billing period from the previous year, please call the Pueblo West Utilities Billing Department at (719) 547-5000.
If you suspect you may have a leak, please call (719) 547-3554. A trained water technician is available to visit your property and inspect for leaks.