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City Utility Director Calls Homeowner’s Bill ‘Very Challenging’

Posted at 3:16 PM, Apr 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-24 19:09:11-04


If you look closely, you can see there’s a leak in one of the sprinkler heads in the front yard of Eliseo Ortiz’s south side home.
Maybe that’s why his utility bill has gone up. Way up.

Ortiz told us he’s lived here less than a year, but look at his bill.
The spike in his usage just in January is substantial.
“Yeah, well it used to be $89, and then it went up to $170 and $200,” Ortiz told the Troubleshooters. “Then $700, and then $1000.”

So Ortiz took his bills and went to city hall, where he claims someone there told him “that’s what the city bill that you’re getting, says, that you used 2000 gallons in a day ? In a day.”

Then today, he had a local business come to his house to check for any leaks. They found one.

The technician estimated it this way:

The sprinkler system is on twice a day, one day a week only, using maybe five gallons a minute.

Ortiz’s system is on for 20 minutes each time, totaling 200 gallons in one day, not even counting the leak. Plus, five people live in the house.

Is that why, as Ortiz said earlier, his bill’s gone from $89 to $1000 ?

“Maybe, but not that high. Now I understand why it’s $74.00 more because of the waste water” Ortiz said. “I understand for that leak, but not 2000 gallons in one day.”

So the Troubleshooters called the utility business office to get some answers for Ortiz.

Margaret Morin, director of the city’s Utility Business Office earlier today.  She calls Ortiz’s case ‘very challenging.’  She recommends he meet with her in person to get this resolved.