Buckeye man investigates huge spike in water bill

Frustrated customers still not getting answers from City of Buckeye

BUCKEYE, Ariz. - Cell phone video taken by a Buckeye resident captures what he says appears to be a broken water meter on his property.

This video is the latest in dozens of complaints sent to 12 News after a report on Tuesday focused on angry residents speaking out about sky-high water bills.

PREVIOUSLY: Dozens of Buckeye residents coming forward with water bill problems

"When we pulled the top off the meter, it was blank," said Chad Taylor, who received a water bill totaling more than $600 for October. "The water’s running inside (and) outside. It’s not reading. I would like to know how I can be charged upwards of almost a thousand dollars when there’s no numbers on the meter at all?"

Taylor and his wife, Bianca, say they contacted the city of Buckeye to find out why their bill was so expensive and were told to check for leaks on their property. After reaching out to three independent professionals, no leaks were found.

The couple also claims they requested two times that a city official come to their property for an inspection, but never heard back.

"Three outside entities have come to try to find leaks or what the problem is," Taylor said. "The gentleman told me pretty much in simple terms that the equivalent of the water they say that we’ve used would be like dumping my pool three times. You would’ve noticed that type of water usage."

The bill reflects usage of over 49,000 gallons of water in one billing cycle. A bar graph chronicling usage show a steep increase for the month of September.

The couple says it's come down to choosing between putting food on the table or paying to keep the water turned on. A choice that Shelby Justiss believes her family may have to make soon.

"First, I would like some acknowledgement – instead of just dismissing us like, “We don’t know what we’re talking about” and we’re not hiring the right people to come out and check things," she said. "Acknowledge that something’s going on."

Justiss' bill is sitting at around $340 for about 22,000 gallons of water.

12 News went to city hall and requested to speak with Dave Nigh, director of the water resources department, but spokesman Bob Bushner said Nigh was too busy and in meetings the rest of the day and could not meet. 

Busher reached out to 12 News a few hours later stating a meeting between Nigh, the city manager and Taylor had been set up for Monday morning. 

If you're a Buckeye resident with a questionable water bill, please email us with details to verify@12news.com.

Copyright 2016 KPNX


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