BUCKEYE, Ariz. - The city of Buckeye is dealing with some water problems. Dozens of residents are complaining that their water bills are inaccurate.
“There’s people that have $2,000 bills, $600 bills,” said Jeff Hancock.
The new Buckeye resident says his past two bills have both been over $400 compared to his first bill that was around $125.
“Somebody needs to step up this is ridiculous, it’s getting out of hand,” said Hancock.
According to Hancock so many people started to complain residents started a social media group dedicated to issues related to the water department. Dozens of people have voiced their complaints on our 12 News Facebook page.
12 News reached out to executives inside the water department but no one agreed to an interview. Our cameras even followed Hancock to city Hall when he met with Director Dave Nigh, but were told we could not come inside due to customer privacy issues.
City Councilwoman Michelle Hess told us she has received dozens of complaints herself about water related problems.
“I can sense the fear with what is going on and I want to help put it to rest,” said Hess.
According to Hess she has been involved in at least 40 cases involving customers who felt they were being billed for water they never used. Some people received bills that showed a usage of 70,000 gallons a month for a small home.
“Most of the time there is a leak in the toilets or the landscaping or something,” said Hess.
The councilwoman says in all but five cases that she knows of there was some sort of issue at the home. As for the other five she says they could not find an explanation.
“We just don’t know,” said Hess.
What happened is unclear. It could have been an issue with the meter or it could have been something else. Unfortunately for residents unless a mistake is discovered the customer is responsible for the bill.
“They kept saying if it went through the meter you used it,” said Hancock.
Councilwoman Hess is urging people call city hall or the water department if they have a complaint so the city can try to resolve it.
“I would love to solve more problems but they need to pick up the phone or email us,” said Hess.
The councilwoman agreed to personally look at the issue at Lorna Dahl’s home. The longtime resident received a bill in June that was more than $1,100 compared to her usual bill around $150.
“We have not paid it,” said Dahl.
According to Dahl the answer she keeps getting from the city is there must be a leak or something. Dahl said the city agreed to cut the bill in half but she still won’t pay for water she says she never used.
Stay with 12 News as we continue to follow this story and bring you the very latest.