TEXAS CITY, Texas - Water utility bills in the hundreds and in some cases thousands of dollar. That’s what Texas City residents are claiming, posting their bills on social media. Some say they will soon lose service because they can’t afford it, and are baffled because they say their water usage hasn’t changed.
“It’s getting out of hand. For a two-person household, I would say our normal usage would be 4000 to 5000 gallons of water. This past bill I got billed for 14,000 gallons of water, which seems excessive to me.“says James Johnston, who has has lived in Texas City for over 30 years.
Although his water bill has fluctuated over time, he usually ends up paying between $40-$60 a month. One of his recent water bills cost him double, $150.
He’s not alone, as other residents are claiming to have lost hundreds, even thousands of dollars, posting their grievances on a Facebook page dedicated to Texas City water bill issues.
Johnston tried to get answers and was told it was no mistake, and that’s what his meter said.
But Johnston showed us photos of his water meter saying, “I couldn’t even find my meter, it was under at least 2 to 4 inches of dirt and mud. So there’s no way they could read my meter like that.”
He also claims that after the meter excuse failed, they blamed the issue on leaks, but that the city sends out their workers on a daily basis to read the meters.
“It’s impossible, because some people get bills that have a big 'E' on them, which is estimated. So if you estimate a bill, you’re not reading their meters. So in all actuality you don’t read every meter at every house every month," he said.
Johnston is not afraid to speak up. He attended a city meeting last week to address the issue. He said officials listened to what he had to say, but as of today a straight answer hasn’t been given.
He tells FOX 26, “Nobody that has this issue is asking for $1 million from the city, we just want the problem corrected, and to be treated fairly.“
Texas City Mayor Matthew Doyle left our reporter, Natasha Geigel, a voice message saying that every complaint that has come directly to the city about water bills has been addressed, but he couldn’t confirm if every complaint on social media was addressed.
We will continue to keep you updated as this story develops.