Many things can impact a water statement; during a period of drought like we are now experiencing, almost all residents will see some level of impact. Generally, the city has an annual rate increase because of the city of Houston raising its rates on purchased water. Most residents never mention the increase until their utility bills begin to be impacted through greater water usage at the larger rate. In most years, residents don't really begin to use a great deal of water at their homes until late April or early May; with the lack of rain the last few years, many have started watering in mid-February and continue to increase consumption throughout our hottest summer in history. You are billed for the water that runs through your meter; if there is a leak in the street, that water does not go through your meter. Therefore, a leak in the street can only impact you through low water pressure or disruption of service while the leak is repaired.
Because people and equipment are being utilized, errors can happen; that is why the city offers residents the opportunity to file for an adjustment once a year for an unusually large bill due to a defect or some unknown cause. Understand that when the utility staff tells you to monitor your account for more than one bill, it is not to get more money from you, but to get to the real reason for the increase if it is not due to increased water usage. The adjustment is only allowed once per 12-month period; if you file for it after one high bill and you have a leak, then you lose the chance to recoup some of the loss for additional affected months.