My duplex in Akron has crazy water bills

14 Replies | Akron, Ohio

Hey there,

    I have a duplex in the Highland square area and the water bills are confusing me.  One side of the house is 80-100 per month, and the other side is 250/mo. but most of the charges are for Akron Waterways Renewed.  Does anyone else have such high water bills??  Thanks

I would be concerned about a leak, or maybe someone is running a car wash. I am guessing from your profile that you are in CA if so, I would get someone over there. If they are separately metered can you make the tenants pay for their own water?

One of the biggest culprits of water usage is a running toilet.  If you have old toilets that always seem to have issues, you might want to swap them out with a water saving model.  A lot of communities offer rebates when you install them and some of those rebates actually will pay for the upgrade.  Home Depot usually has a sell on such toilets for about a $100 per toilet and usually you can find a handyman to install for between 50-75 dollars.  Good Luck.

How many people are living in each side?  

Don’t forget, Akron water bill includes sewer and trash.  I love it when the ever-helpful people at the water dept tells the tenant there must be a water leak.  Then the tenant calls us to come and find it- now their wasting of water is my fault and I get charged a maintenance call to chase ghosts... all because they have a teen that likes long showers... 

Someday maybe we’ll see legislation that requires cities like Akron to have the water in the tenant’s names like any other utility instead of the owners.  Until then it’s legal extortion.  

Akron sewer is a failing system and 60+% of your bill is EPA assessments which I've never gotten a clear answer whether that is building up a fund to replace or is just fines..

You may have a small leak, running toilet etc...  A good dozen or so of my properties regularlt have $200 bills.

I keep saying one day these folks will wake up and realize they can go live in a nicer area outside of Akron sewer (Cuy Falls, Springfield, Tallmadge, Coventry, Plain....) and while there rent will be more it will be offset by saving $100/month on this bill...  However that hasn't happened yet and Akron is still strong.

Originally posted by @Sam Stout :

Hey there,

    I have a duplex in the Highland square area and the water bills are confusing me.  One side of the house is 80-100 per month, and the other side is 250/mo. but most of the charges are for Akron Waterways Renewed.  Does anyone else have such high water bills??  Thanks

 Things you can do to reduce water bills.

  • Install new toilets.
  • Remove exterior water spigots so tenants can't water lawn, use sprinklers or wash their cars.
  • Remove laundry or install coin operated laundry. (Sometimes if you have free laundry in a lower class area tenants will have their friends who have to pay for laundry come over to do their laundry on your dime)

The demographics of the tenants may play a part. I have a duplex where one side used 12,000 gallons of water in a month. Tiny yards, 3 bed, 2 bath. I drove by and happened to notice many cars there. The situation resolved itself when the city tagged a car for being parked on the grass.

Originally posted by @Account Closed :

Most of the time Yuge 💧 bills are result of tenants.  If they aren't charged for it they don't care. Remember plex tenants aren't the best tenants ever.

All the more reason to ALWAYS charge tenants for all utilities.

Replace flappers on toilets every 5 years regardless. If they’re old toilets replace the whole thing with a good Toto version. Easiest way to find a flapper leak is pour some Gatorade in the tank and wait 5 min. Red in the bowl = flapper. Or just assume they need done as they wear out and buy new ones for $3 each and replace.

Is there a change in the bill, or is this the first bill you have gotten on this property?  Water bills are outrageously high in Akron from ongoing lawsuits against the city, & they're just passing the cost onto the residents.

UPDATE: I had PM go over to do an inspection, and no leaks were found.  They didn't replace any flappers or such.  The bills are consistently $200-250 for one side of the duplex, and $80 for the other side.  It's been that way for the last year....I will agree with some of you here, Akron has crazy high water fees.  Most of it is for the "Sewer Recovery Tax"