Buckeye officials sticking to their guns on water bills

Verify: Why are the water bills so high?

The past few days have been a bit hectic for Dave Nigh.

The Buckeye Water Resources Director has been dealing with a water crisis. Dozens of people have recently come forward claiming their water bill spiked within the last few months.

12 News has received dozens of complaints from customers saying their bill went up hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

“Someone needs to step up,” said Buckeye resident Jeff Hancock. “This is ridiculous. It’s getting out of hand.”

His water bill jumped from around $120 to more than $420 a month. Hancock says he has talked with the city but has not received a clear answer about why the massive jump has happened.

When 12 News contacted Nigh, he showed us a printout of Hancock’s account. The meter, which can store a month’s worth of data from individual days, shows a spike on three days.

“We can go back and show that you are using the water,” Nigh said. “We know he used 2,500 gallons.”

City crews have visited Hancock’s home but Nigh did not have the latest findings when we spoke with him on Thursday afternoon. Nigh said the meter at the home was recently changed but acknowledged it has not been tested since Hancock complained.

Nigh said the city has received about 20 complaints in the past week about excess usage. He said none of those meters have been tested but they have checked meters in the past. He said every time in his six years, they’ve all tested well with no failures.

“I can’t find anywhere that has been the case,” Nigh said. “We talked to the manufacture. We are doing all we can do.”

So what is going on? That’s the million-dollar question -- or at least in this case, one that holds the secret to hundreds of dollars in bills.

The city is urging anyone with an issue or a concern to give them a call and report the problem. The city will try to help resolve the problem on the phone but says it is willing to send a crew out if they can’t come up with a resolution on the phone.

The city can also test the meter, but that could end up costing the customer money.

12 News will continue to follow this story and bring you updates as they become available. 

Copyright 2016 KPNX


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