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Man blames error for high utility bill

City stands by automatic water meters, new billing system
Posted at 9:31 PM, Oct 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-21 23:32:27-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A Corpus Christi man is convinced some kind of technical error is to blame for two utility bills that are much higher than what he normally pays.

"I want to see these bills corrected back to where they normally should be," Gene Cannon said.

Cannon moved to a new home in August, but his final utility bill for the home he moved out of was for $301.63. He went to City Hall for an explanation and got some surprising news. City records show that he used 15,000 gallons of water on August 1 alone.

"There's no way I could have used 15,000 gallons of water," Cannon said. "No way! It's impossible."

That figure surprised Utility Billing Office Manager Margaret Morin as well, but she said water usage spiking on certain days does happen.

"I have not have heard of that -- 15,000 in one day," Morin said. "But do we see double or triple? Yes."

A presentation at the October 15 City Council meeting addressed the high number of residents and businesses reporting high water bills. It led to hundreds of water audits, and in many cases, inspectors going to homes and businesses to inspect water meters.

"They went and visited over -- I want to say -- over nine hundred total," Morin said. "Everything has been coming back correctly."

Cannon still thinks there's something wrong with the system, and he got another reminder in September. After living in his new home for just a month he was hit with a utility bill of $391.56. He says that his monthly rate at both homes is almost always around just $80.

"If you went month after month after month before that (the bill) would be 80 to 90 dollars," Cannon said. "That's just what we used."