Water bill investigation continues, tips for checking your meter - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Water bill investigation continues, tips for checking your meter

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — City officials are speaking out as San Diegans continue to sound off about skyrocketing water bills.  

Since News 8 first brought you the story last week, the Public Utilities Department has started looking into the issue.  

News 8's Shannon Handy reports from Kearny Mesa with more on how you can check your water meter and the latest developments in this "Your Stories" investigation.  

Iain McIntyre never had a reason to check his water meter, until he received a bill for more than $500. 

"Because it was twice what we paid and the volume was twice what we noticed the previous billing cycle," said McIntyre. 

Wednesday, News 8 sent plumber Steven Winsett from Bill Howe to McIntyre's Rancho Bernardo home. 

Winsett showed us and McIntyre how to check the meter to ensure it's working correctly. 

First, write down the number you see on the dial. 

Then, come back 24 hours later and check how much it's changed. 

For example, if it jumps from 58403 to 58410, that means seven cubic feet has been used - about 52.5 gallons. 

That's average. 

If the number skyrockets - there could be a leak or other issue. 

"You have to take down the numbers, you have to do the calculations, [and] you have to do it over a period of time to get a good data stat," said Winsett.  

 Another test: turn off all water inside your home and the wheel on the meter shouldn't spin. 

If it does, there's a problem. 

In McIntyre's case, it doesn't appear there's a leak, though the city's public utilities department seems to think so. 

"I believe personally that their response is inadequate and irresponsible," said McIntyre.  

He is part of a growing number of people from all over San Diego getting high water bills they can't explain. 

Corey Thomas lives in Talmadge and received a bill for more than $3,000.  

"I thought maybe they switched our bill with a hotel or a water park," Thomas said.  

City officials are now stepping in. 

Council President Barbara Bry just announced she's calling for a PUD audit. 

The city's auditor has agreed. 

Bry told News 8:  

My office is committed to helping San Diego ratepayers resolve their cases and discovering the reasons for these recent water bill spikes 

And for the first time, the mayor has spoken out on the issue. 

"I will insist that [for] everyone - their bill is addressed. And I will ensure that nobody is overcharged. That is the bottom line," said Mayor Kevin Faulconer.  




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