Many News 8 viewers see sudden jump in water bill - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Many News 8 viewers see sudden jump in water bill

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — Over the past few months, News 8 viewers say water bills that used to be in the hundreds of dollars are now, in some cases, in the thousands. 

But customers say they're not using any more water than usual. 

Ryan Hemelt has lived in his Pacific Beach house for three years, but says never has the water bill been so high. 

"It's pretty obvious that something is wrong," said Hemelt. "It's really hard for a house this size to do some $800-worth of water use." 

He said, normally the bill is around $150. 

Hemelt's landlord had a plumber come out and check for a leak, but he didn't find anything. 

As far as Hemelt knows, the meter hasn't been replaced, so the price hike remains a mystery. 

"You'd have to run a faucet essentially nonstop for two months in this house," he said.  

Hemelt shared his thoughts on Facebook and received dozens of responses from people in the same area dealing with the same thing. 

One woman wrote: "We live in north PB and our bill doubled."   

It turns out, Pacific Beach residents aren't the only ones questioning their recent water bills. News 8 has heard from people city wide. 

"I'm on auto pay I so rarely look at my water bill, but when I saw the increase like this, I thought 'yeah,  that's a problem," said North Park resident John Van Zante. 

Van Zante did have his meter replaced and said since then:  

"Last year, I was using an average of 12 gallons per day. This year, I'm using an average of 171 gallons per day."  

Corey Thomas of Talmadge sent News 8 his bill, which went from about $200 to over $3,000 after, he too, had a new meter installed. 

"So, they put us on a two-year payment plan for one water cycle so we can still shower," Thomas said. 

Thomas and Van Zante both had the city send a technician out to check their meters - and were told they're working fine. 

News 8 reached out to the city by phone and email earlier this week - attempting to get an on-camera response. 

Thursday, News 8 stopped by in person and were informed the person we needed to speak with was unavailable, but: "They take all concerns seriously and for customers who believe they have a problem, they can call our customer service center and we will investigate." 

CBS News 8 will be talking with a representative from the Public Utilities Department on News 8  at 5 p.m. To contact customer service, click here.  

If you're having issues with your water bill, News 8 would like to hear from you: email us  

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