Mayor Kevin Faulconer has directed the city’s Public Utilities Department to investigate every complaint of high water bills after some residents have noticed unexplained skyrocketing charges in recent months.
The move is the latest in the city’s response to the complaints that have been covered by local media. City Councilwoman Barbara Bry on Wednesday asked the city auditor to look into the utility department’s billing procedures.
So far, city officials have discovered several factors that could contribute to high water bills: a 6.9 percent rate increase that took effect on Aug. 1, a one-time billing schedule change that extended the normal 60-day billing period to up to 70 days late last year, warmer months that could contribute to increased usage, meter reading inconsistencies and leaks in homes and irrigation systems, according to the mayor’s office.
“San Diegans need to be able to trust that their bills are correct — and that every cent they pay goes to ensuring we have safe, reliable water,” Faulconer said. “I’ve directed our Public Utilities Department to review every complaint to ensure that nobody is being overcharged and to correct any mistakes immediately.”
In one case, for example, a resident’s bill jumped from around $200 in February 2016 to more than $1,000 in the most recent billing cycle, with no increase in usage, Fox 5 reported.
Those with questions or concerns about their water bill can contact the utilities department at (619) 515-3500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
— City News Service
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