Frisco has explanation for soaring water bills

Homeowners are mystified after receiving sky-high bills from the city.

FRISCO — Kim Keller's backyard looks a lot like most others in North Texas, with a good share of dying plants, brown grass, and cracked soil.

"This is beyond potpourri… this is dust," she said as she pulled up a dying plant.

So you can imagine she was very surprised to get a water bill for the month of September totaling $656. The bill shows that the Kellers had used nearly 120,000 gallons of water for that month.

"It's insane to think one family being charged for that much water," she said.

Keller started to do some research and realized 120,000 gallons is equivalent to filling up a swimming pool four times... or having 20 people stay in your home for the month.

They're not the only household in North Texas with questions.

At a town hall meeting Monday night, Frisco officials addressed the water bill issue being raised by other families. Over the last two months, the city's public works department has been inundated with calls. Customers want to know if there's been a mistake.

"It's going to be usage," said Gary Hartwell, the city's public works director. "It's either going to be a leak on their system or excessive use of the automatic sprinkler systems. The meters are good."

The city says average water usage per day doubled from 24 million gallons in August 2014 to more than 50 million gallons in August 2015.

Hartwell said when drought-related water restrictions were lifted, customers simply used a lot more water than they were used to.

Kim's Keller's husband, Harold, met with a city worker who came by to inspect the family's water meter. Harold said there's a possibility that a leak could be causing their water bills to spike.

"We've asked a master plumber to come out and tells us… explain something... tell us what happened," he said.

The plumber didn't find any leaks. The city is still looking into their case, and others.

"We went through a checklist. How long are the kids in the shower?  How often are we flushing the toilet? Checking irrigation systems," Kim Keller said.

Frisco is not the only city in North Texas having to work through these issues with residents. From previous stories involving other cities, city representatives have also maintained that usage is up, plain and simple. 



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