Water Bill Outrage: Water Department insists the meters are accu - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Water Bill Outrage: Water Department insists the meters are accurate

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – A Your Stories investigation into skyrocketing water rates drew a huge response from News 8 viewers. In fact, dozens and dozens of viewers shared their stories and bills.

Craig Everett is one of hundreds of viewers who emailed News 8, reporting his bill skyrocketed. He claims he was away for three weeks, yet his bill more than doubled from last year’s.

Everett said the city’s Public Utilities Department suggested someone came on his property to use the water.

News 8 tried to take his complaint to the PUD, but it took three days and a call to the mayor’s office before they spoke with News 8.

When asked why so many people believe there are issues with their billing, Michael Vogel with the Public Utilities Department said, “There is an uptick in concerns and some of that is that there is a lot of opportunity for people to talk about these on their social media and so forth.”

The city said the last billing cycle was ten days longer and believes any increase in usage is on the customer’s end.

“The meters themselves are absolutely accurate. We have not seen any indication that these issues that have come up from customers about high bills of any meter not being accurate,” said Vogel.

As proof, the PUD pointed to a 2013 audit which found an error rate of meter reading of .03%.

Ian McIntyre’s bill shows he used an estimated 542 gallons of water a day – nearly double this time last year.

“If we had a leak of that magnitude, I think it would be flowing through our front door. I don’t’ think I’ve missed that sort of leak,” McIntyre .

Other viewers sent News 8 pictures of their dirt-covered meters as proof the city is not checking them. The city maintains their process is accurate.

“We are absolutely sure that there are no problems with the meters. The reality is we are here to help if our customers feel that there is a higher bill, they need to contact us,” said Vogel.

The Water Department pledged to review every email complaint News 8 received and encouraged others with concerns to speak up if there is a problem.

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

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