ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – An Abilene couple was in shock after receiving their most recent water bill, costing them more than $800.
The bill, sent by the city of Abilene, reflected the usage of 91,000 gallons of water for one month.
“That’s a startling number to receive for your water bill,” said the homeowner.
To put it into perspective, it takes 20,000 gallons to fill an average-sized residential swimming pool. This South Abilene couple was shocked to receive their highest bill yet for their single-family home, especially after they decided to stop using their sprinkler system and not fill their pool for that specific month.
When they called the city, a representative told them they may have a water leak.
“We’re like okay, deductive reasoning would tell you that would be such a water leak at the point where it would be coming up through our tiles or the walls or our backyard would be flooded. None of those things of which was happening” said the homeowner.
They decided to call Midway Plumbing to have a plumber, Caleb Beasley, check their home for leaks.
“I walked around the property to make sure I didn’t see any water standing anywhere, and then I asked the customer if I could come in and check for any leaks or toilets that could be leaking in the house. He didn’t want me to come in the house at the time to check any of those, but I did confirm that there was no active water leak on the meter,” said Beasley.
Now, the homeowners have decided to take matters into their own hands by having an analog meter installed.
“We’re just going to kind of monitor those situations and see how our numbers are matching up with the city’s numbers, and once we have our evidence together that we are, in fact, not consuming that water, I’m going to call the city back and give them a chance to address it and fix the problem,” said the homeowner.
Other Abilene residents have also voiced concerns over their high water bills, telling KTAB/KRBC they have seen spikes in their water usage during hours of the night when they’re asleep. Beasley said there could be an explanation for that if homeowners have a running toilet.
“A lot of times, people don’t realize how much water will go through a toilet if it’s running and coming on and off throughout the night, so if you ever have any toilets running, they will use a lot of water,” Beasley said.
The city installed more than 40,000 ‘Smart Water Meters’ across Abilene in 2018, which sends the water usage information directly back to the city. Officials told KTAB/KRBC that these meters are more accurate.