CELINA, Texas — Dozens of Celina residents are frustrated after receiving unusually high water bills this month, but the city blames the bill increases on higher temperatures and increased watering.
Debra Nameth moved from California to Celina last year, and is one of the residents speaking out. She lives in her new home with just her husband.
Last week, they received a $700 bill. That bill includes sewage, garbage, recycling, and stormwater drainage, but she was charged more than $540 for her water usage last month alone.
“Yes we have a pool, but we only water occasionally, do laundry once a week, and fill the pool as necessary,” Nameth said. “That would be like 30 minute showers, doing laundry everyday, running the dishwasher everyday, watering everyday.”
According to her bill she used 51,700 gallons of water during the July/August billing cycle.
“There’s no way,” Nameth said. “There’s no way.”
Usually her water bill is around $140 per month.
Nameth is not alone in her frustration. The city of Celina posted about the latest bills on their Facebook page and dozens of people responded expressing frustration with their charges.
That prompted a response from the city.
“When we start receiving high water bill complaints, we immediately begin to run audit checks. So far, we have uncovered no abnormalities or discrepancies in the system,” said Paul DeBuff, Director of Administrative Services for the City of Celina.
Nevertheless, the city has begun putting together a database of consumer complaints and will run individual checks on those meters to ensure they are accurate. City officials also say payment plans are available for customers who can prove an inability to pay for a higher bill.
“I think they’re gauging us for who knows what. I honestly don’t know what’s going on,” Nameth said. “We just want a reasonable water bill.”
If you have questions about your billing or would like to be added to the database you can call the city of Celina Utility Billing Department at 972-382-3345.