Track Your Water Bill

Newport’s water woes (and fees) are legendary, so it behooves us to keep a close eye on usage. I created a spreadsheet to be able to predict the monthly bill based on periodic meter readings. It has saved me from some nasty surprises.

The most common source of nasty surprises is a running toilet. Other common causes are leaks in hidden spaces, like the basement or a crawl space.

We have replaced both toilet valves in the last two years so we should not have any problems soon. But it bears watching.

You can use the following table as a rule of thumb for what your usage may be:

There is a system that will let you monitor your meter via the internet, but it requires the municipality to “partner” with them at a cost that I do not know. It seems that Newport and Middletown have not done so to date.

The system is:
http://www.wateronline.com/doc/badger-meter-releases-eyeonwater-beacon-advanced-metering-analytics-solution-0001

My meter is a Badger. Badger offers an Android/iPhone app that lets people monitor their usage and more if the city has partnered. It is called EyeOnWater:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.badgermeter.eyeonwater&hl=en_US

But the only option is to physically read the meter since the cities have not yet partnered with EyeOnWater.

I have written a spreadsheet that will predict your water bill based on a current meter reading (assuming linear extrapolation, YMMV, etc.). It takes about five minutes to read the meter and update the spreadsheet once you understand it…

There are two tabs to the spreadsheet:

• The first is called Water and is fairly automatic using my specific settings for the rates.

• The second is called Calculator and gives a more detailed calculator with which you can enter your personal particulars.

Basically you use the Water tab to enter date and time of the reading, date and time of the projected bill, and it gives you the expected bill:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is record-1.png
Spreadsheet Data Entry
  1. Enter the date and time of your reading and the meter reading.
  2. Enter the date and time for which you wish the projection.
  3. Column H contains your projected bill.

You can use the Calculator tab if you want to get down into the details. Your bill depends on several factors besides just usage:
• Is the property residential or commercial?

• What size is your meter? What is the corresponding CSO charge?

• Are you over 65?

All these details are explained carefully in fine print on the back of your bill. Unfortunately, it seems that only engineers actually read instructions… 🙂

You can download the spreadsheet here:

Enjoy!