Neighbors get mysteriously high water bills

Posted at 7:19 AM, Aug 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-30 10:33:57-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A group of Scripps Ranch residents all say they have received mysteriously high water bills and can't explain why.

One of them, Hal DeLong, just got two in a row -- one for about $450 and another for $800. He recently resodded part of his backyard, and he expected maybe a 20-percent increase and not a tripling of his bills. DeLong approached about five of his neighbors, all with the issue, including one getting a $1,600 water bill.

"We've investigated individually whether or not we might have leaks, system-wide leaks, leaking toilets, anything that might contribute," DeLong said, noting they found nothing.

There was one recent change in the neighborhood -- the city installed new smart meters, which are more accurate than the older ones.

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10News sent the information to city of San Diego officials, and two inspectors came to DeLong's home on Tuesday. The first tested the meter and found it indicated no leaks and was also detecting that water was moving when it was on.

A spokesman for the city said it's noticed no patterns of problems with the smart meters. The spokesman said DeLong's usage history doubled about a month before the new meter was installed, indicating a leak.

DeLong said he's convinced there was no leak, and it doesn't explain what's happening to the homes around him.

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The city says the smart meters can't indicate every kind of leak. Two examples are irrigation issues and fixture issues like a sticking toilet flapper.