New concerns over high water bills in San Diego

Posted at 4:58 PM, Oct 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-31 21:19:34-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The City of San Diego says it is working to earn back the public's trust after thousands of families got hit with erroneously high water bills this year. 

But the problems appear to be persisting. Ed Kitrosser and his wife just got a bill for $613, more than double the usual for their home in Pacific Beach.

"We're on automatic sprinklers. Nothing has changed, the setting has not been changed for several years," said Kitrosser. 

RELATED: Inside San Diego: Audit shows City sent thousands of faulty water bills

Kitrosser is one of about a dozen residents in the P.B. and La Jolla area complaining about outrageously high water bills they received in September. Their concerns come after a city audit found that about 3,000 San Diegans got erroneous water bills, largely due to human error. 

Shawn Tobias, of La Jolla, is questioning a bill he received for more than $1,800.

"You call the city and say 'I'm pretty sure you made a mistake on this' and they say 'no, no, this is what you used,' and then your heart drops," Tobias said. 

RELATED: San Diego man furious with city over $2,000 water bill

The city, meanwhile, says it is making progress on installing a series of reforms after the audit. That includes increased oversight on meter readers, addressing a backlog of meters that need repair, and improving communication with customers.

"We are now holding everyone accountable," said Johnnie Perkins, the city's deputy chief operating officer. "It's going to take some time, because this wasn't created overnight, but we're certainly going to improve it as fast as we can."

The city says it is not charging late fees or turning the water off on anyone disputing a bill. 

RELATED: City launches app to help customers monitor water bills