The “Average Monthly Water Bill”: Understanding Santa Barbara Homeowner Rates

So what is the Average monthly water bill? Explain Santa Barbara homeowner water rates.

Concerned Santa Barbara homeowners are constantly calling in trying discern a jump in their average monthly water bill. They want us to explain  the ever changing Santa Barbara homeowner water rates and “the average monthly water bill”. While we can explain Santa Barbara homeowner water rates(for now), the “average Santa Barbara water bill” is a little trickier. Santa Barbara is a diverse place and there really is no “average Santa Barbara water bill”. Some people don’t like to shower and others want their lawns to reflect the floor of a tropical rainforest.

However, we hope to answer a few questions that will provide more clarity on this issue and help Santa Barbara homeowners understand why there is no straightforward answer. We see the same problems repeatedly and for the sanity of our boss and the goodwill of the general public we thought we’d do a quick info session. We want to clarify our most common questions about Santa Barbara homeowner water rates and the elusive concept of the “average monthly water bill” in Santa Barbara.

How much does water cost in Santa Barbara?

As of November 2016, the Santa Barbara homeowner water rate for a single family residential home is $4.56 for the first 4 HCF(748.5 gallons per HCF). This breaks down to approximately .00721 cents per gallon. The next 12 HCF of water costs $12.97 per HCF or  .017 cents per gallon. Yes that is 3x as much as the first 4HCF.

How much does the Average Family use?

According to the 2013 Santa Barbara City Water Plan and Rate Study Report, Single family residents(Santa Barbara Homeowners) use on average of 12 HCF of water a month. This means they go into this second tier allotment before the middle of the month. Multi Family residents(apartments usually without lawns) use on average 5HCF a month.

Like we’ve said before, “average” is elusive.  These numbers are assuming a lot particularly that everyone is fairly drought conscious-that they shower only once a day. They use a communal dishwasher, flush high efficiency toilets, and only use a clothes washer once a week. The kind of person who waters only small houseplants and doesn’t keep a grassy green yard.

According to the last U.S census, the average Santa Barbara household has 2.92 members. Using this model, each member of a multi family residential unit use 42.7 gallons a day and every member of a single family household uses 102.53. This seems fine until you think that the U.S national average is 180 gallons a person. We’re not that drought conscious.

So then do I have a leak or is my Santa Barbara City water bill naturally high?

At our current water rates, pretty much every Santa Barbara homeowner pays this second and even third tier water rate($24.27 per HCF) for anything beyond the basic necessities. This adds up quickly and $1000 water bills are becoming more and more common.

While the price of water has gone up throughout Santa Barbara, we really only get suspicious when the bill goes up by 1.5 to 2x of the previous month’s amount. For further instruction on how to locate a leak check out our earlier blog posts.

Should I call a leak detection service or a plumber?

If you know for certain where the leak is, call a plumber. However if you aren’t sure a plumber can find it, we recommend you call a leak detection service. A leak detection is performed so that the plumber can repair without tearing your house or office apart.

If you’re busy who else can I call?

There is no shortage of capable tradesmen in Santa Barbara. If we can’t make it, we would politely refer you to our leak competitors: Fritz at American Leak Detection or Rob at Pinpoint Leak Detection.

What areas do you service?

Acme Detection is based in Santa Barbara, California. The majority of our standard leak detection services are in Isla Vista, Goleta, Summerland, and Carpinteria. For an additional fee, we will travel to Buellton, San Ynez, Los Olivos, Ojai, Ventura, and Santa Maria. For exorbitant surcharges, we have traveled to the inland empire and greater Los Angeles Area.

How long do I have to wait for your visit?

We try our best to have a same day leak detection service. However some days are busier than others. We would guess we service around 95% of our leak detection customers within 24 hours of their initial call.

What kind of leaks do you do?

Acme Leak Detection Service tries to be as versatile as possible. We are always learning new tricks and strive to meet the varied needs of the Santa Barbara Community. Our most common calls are for broken drip systems, irrigation leaks, pool/skimmer leaks, and shower leaks. However, we specialize in Slab Leak detection and can find Sewer, Gas, and drain leaks.

I think my neighbor is stealing water from me what do I do?

It sounds silly, but this is a common fear among home owners. We can honestly say that we have never seen one instance of a successful neighborly water theft in Santa Barbara.  You probably have an irrigation leak.

Thanks for your time and we hope this helps. If you have a leak, don’t panic. We specialize in finding leaks and will help you avoid the penalties associated with going over monthly water allotment.

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