Tucson couple gets jaw dropping water bill - Tucson News Now

Tucson couple gets jaw dropping water bill

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A Tucson couple gets a jaw dropping water bill and city leaders say they are not alone.

Raelen Kaylor and her family say they've been without water for more than a week now, all because they refuse to pay a water bill from June of last year.  That bill was $1,037, ten times what they normally pay.

"I was shocked, pretty much in shock. So we contacted the water department and asked how this was even possible," said Kaylor.

Tucson Water did not have an answer, but they did have some suggestions.  Those included a leak, someone stole their water or they left the toilet running.  Kaylor says there is no way her family used more than 78,000 gallons of water in one month.

"The most frustrating part is not knowing where it went or what happened. I can do a lot of things with $1,000 and giving it to the water department is not at the top of my list."

Public Information Officer for Tucson Water, Fernando Molina, says it's not uncommon for customer to have spikes in their bills.  He says when it does happen it's hard to pin-point where the water went.

"The bill comes with in three days after the meter is read.  So there's 30 days prior to them receiving the bill, something could have occurred that nobody notices, because by the time we send somebody there, it's not always possible to find signs of a leak."

Molina says there are three options when things like this happen.  You can pay the bill back in a payment plan, you can apply for a courtesy adjustment or you can chose an administrative hearing.

He says most people who chose the hearing route usually lose, but many are offered adjustments.  In fact, in the last fiscal year he says more than 4,500 were given to customers who've had this problem.

City Council member for Ward 2, Paul Cunningham, says his office gets calls once a week on mystery readings.

"They just want an explanation on how you can have a high meter reading. So we are really just trying to work with them to get an idea of how often this is happening."

Council member Cunningham turned to the City Manager for help.  As for Kaylor, she tells KOLD News 13 that she's working with the city manager's office and hopes to find a solution for this hefty bill.

Tucson Water says if you noticed you have a peak in your meter reads, the best things to do is call customer service.

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