I would compare your statements if you have them, and if not call and ask. We were notified of rising water rates soon to come, but another thought and not a good one is you may have a leak somewhere...Check your water meter and see if it is going crazy spinning. We had that happen 2 years ago...We had a leak in the front yard and only found out when it flooded up
First, check your bills. If you keep them, the detailed comparisons between last year and this year could tell you a lot. This is why I keep utility bills this long. Another good reason to keep them is to show to potential buyers of your house. It can make a difference if you can show them low utility bills.
Call the city and ask about the increase if you still have questions.
One thing that can really jump a utility bill or property tax bill is debt servicing. Bonds floated to upgrade facilities eventually have to be paid back. Think about that the next time you vote on bond issues.
We had the same thing happen and as one pp suggested-it was a leak. One of our toilets had a slow leak. When we fixed it our water bill dropped from $90 to $50! When the bill went up we figured there was a leak. We made sure we had no water running and then went outside to check our water meter. It was still running so we knew there was a leak somewhere!
I work for a water department. Does your bill a consumption amount listed? As others say compare it to your old bills, if you have them. If any of the rates went up you should have been notified before hand. But if not, call to verify the rates are the same.
Watching the meter is a great tip. Just be sure to turn off the ice maker also, many people don't think of that.
Toilets are the number one cause of unknown leaks. You would be amazed on how much a leaky toilet adds to your bill. Don't think it doesn't leak just because you can't hear it. A test to see if you do have a toilet leak is to put food coloring in the tank of your toilet. Do not flush and wait 15 mins. If the color ends up in your bowl, you have a leak. Many of our customers have used this dye test to find leaks.
I have heard that the toilet is often the reason for water bills going up suddenly.
Just to make you feel better, our water/sewer bill is about $275/quarter but in the summer months, it can reach $500 because of watering the grass and rarely putting water in the pool. We don't have municipal trash collection.