Massive increase in water usage
I have a good friend who recently installed a sprinkler system on city water through a separate irrigation meter. Last month his irrigation usage ran about 9000 gallons. This month he was shocked to receive a bill for 134,000 gallons of usage.
His sprinkler guy (who also did some landscaping) increased his daily run-time from 160 minutes to 440 minutes, but he's been turning off the second half of the scheduled run on almost a daily basis. Even ignoring that, though, the usage is many times higher than it should be for the run time.
His girlfriend verified the programming is correct. Using the meter at the street, we clocked his sprinkler's current usage at about 19.4 gallons per minute. This is a 3/4" meter and I believe a 3/4" pipe but I don't know the PSI rating -- but I think it would have to be unusually high for city residential service to support 19.4 GPM.
I therefore suspect that the meter is bad. He doesn't have any suspiciously swimming-pool-sized sinkholes in his lawn (134,000 gallons on a 0.4 acre lot should pretty much sink the house, I suspect). I suggested that he begin by contacting his sprinkler guy. I expect he ought to have some kind of warranty (I don't know what kind of warranty he got, but it hasn't even been 90 days since it was installed), and I'd think a sprinkler guy ought to know about these things.
Any suggestions about what to do in this situation would be appreciated, including other things to check (and how) and what kind of response he is could reasonably expect in this situation. He's pretty worried about the very large water bill -- if the meter is bad I'd expect it to go away, but if the sprinkler system is bad, does he have any hope of recovering that expense?
Any and all input is appreciated. Thanks in advance.