Several neighbors in North Dallas are sharing their concerns about water bills they say are abnormally high.
If you've ever held your breath while opening a bill, you know Debbie Noel's pain. At her house in Prestonwood North, Dallas Water Utility provides the water needed.
"We have three people that live here, take showers and bathe," said Noel.
Add to that water for cooking and filling up their pool. Still, Noel says her monthly totals would make you think she leaves her taps running for days. A bill from last spring shows her water usage cost $16. This summer, even with filling that pool as she’s done for years, Noel was shocked to see the charge for water at $372. She estimates that her water bills have been at least $100 higher than normal for the last year and a half.
"When it’s more than your electric bill, you’re starting to wonder why that’s happening," Noel said.
She took her wondering to her neighborhood’s NextDoor website and found about 70 from other Prestonwood people, showing that she wasn’t alone. Many, including Noel, say they’ve called the City of Dallas to complain about these sharp increases.
The City tells WFAA it hasn’t received a spike in complaints from one particular area. A spokesman for Dallas Water Utilities said after DWU receives a complaint call, staff researches the consumption history at the location and inspects the meter and irrigation system, if requested.
Staff will also do free irrigation systems inspections to help customers find leaks or learn how water is being used in their home.
Still, the bills keep coming for Noel and other neighbors. She wants more of the utility’s help in figuring out how her charge can change so much when her water habits have not.
"Not that we don’t want to pay our fair share, but it just seems odd that it would escalate that much," Noel said.