Residents claim it’s the City’s water main breaks that are causing hikes in water bills

Posted at 6:17 PM, May 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-22 21:50:38-04

A man claims his water bill has spiked significantly because of a water main break in his Annaville neighborhood. He says the break is on the city’s service lines and he’s had to foot the bill in the past. And he’s also not the only one. In a private social network site for neighborhood communities, several people are venting about the same problem.

A “$1000 water bill, “sticker-shock”, and “price gouging” are just a few of the words some Annaville residents are using to describe their recent water bills.

“Our water bill had spiked up so we went back and talked to the city about it and they said apparently you used 16,000 gallons worth of water,” said one resident, who preferred to remain anonymous.

The last time a main broke in this resident’s neighborhood his alleged water usage jumped by 7000 gallons. And he believes it’s the water main breaks that are causing his unusually high water bills.

“We told them how there was a leak on the city side,” he said. “I guess since they’ve been digging and doing engineering in the neighborhood redoing some of the piping and plumbing in the neighborhood.”

According to the Corpus Christi distribution supervisor Michael Olivarez, when a water main breaks in the cities service line, customers shouldn’t be affected. But, he did say that if the break happens between the meter and the customer’s house, it’s considered a leak on the resident’s side and that’s a different story.

“There’s a service line that breaks which means from the meter to the customer’s house,” said Olivarez. “If there’s a break in that particular portion of the line then yes it’s reading water consumption so they probably will experience a high bill.”

Tuesday’s main break is not an isolated incident according to this resident. He says the last time this happened he ended up forking over $400.

“So long as your meter is spinning, you’re going to get billed for it,” he said.

The city uses an automated meter reading system. They maintain that people are only charged for their usage, or if they have leaks between their meter and their homes.

The water main break from Tuesday is a result of a contractor who was working in the area that’s according to the city. They assured me that residents shouldn’t see an impact in their water bills, but of course, we’ll follow up with residents in the next few weeks.