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Old 10-12-2015, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Grand Prairie, TX
80 posts, read 103,703 times
Reputation: 14

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Am I the only one or has anyone else's water bill doubled?? I live in Grand Prairie, TX.
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Old 10-12-2015, 06:16 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
969 posts, read 1,205,856 times
Reputation: 807
I don't know how it relates to Grand Prairie but it's a huge issue in North San Antonio. You can find discussions in the SA forum or just google SAWS and it will probably come up as it's been all over the news here. Not sure if it will make you feel better but people here were getting bills over $400.
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Old 10-13-2015, 08:19 AM
 
2,458 posts, read 2,095,962 times
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Many cities in Texas have enacted tiered billing recently, so the rates you pay tier up as you use more and more, from something like $1.50 per 10,000 gallons for less than 30,000 gallons to $4-6 per 1,000 gallons above it.

Texas is also slipping quickly back into drought as this summer has been seriously abnormally dry, so to keep up lawns, people have been watering a lot. Watering the lawn uses a lot of water, so many are probably hitting those upper tiers.

Check your bill. Your rates should be clearly listed on there. Mine shows a little graph of usage per month as well.
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Old 10-14-2015, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Grand Prairie, TX
80 posts, read 103,703 times
Reputation: 14
Here is the issue. It is not the rates that are the problem, it is the usage per the water meter. On my bill it says last year at this time I used 15,000 gallons of water. This year it says I used close to 35,000 gallons. This is not possible as there is one less adult in our household and our sprinkler settings are exactly the same as last year. I am not doing anything else that requires anything other than normal water use.

There may be technical issues with the water meters. Most places have gone to the "smart" meters that are read electronically. Our water utilities say we must have a leak on our property. If every household in my neighborhood had a leak, we would have a new municipal pool. We need explanations and accountability from our Mayor.

I have started a petition that demands just that. It can be found at:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/147/8...ity-and-mayor/
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Old 10-14-2015, 12:39 PM
 
111 posts, read 41,065 times
Reputation: 157
Grand Prairie had a 4.5% utility rate increase this year. There are three possible answers to your billing increase.
1. You are using more water and don't know it.
2. You have a leak in your line past your meter that you can't see or notice or you have an appliance like a toilet that is running continuously.
3. Your smart meter is having signal issues. If something is blocking the meter's signal what typically happens is the billing office will estimate based on past usage until they send someone to do a manual read or the block goes away. If the actual usage over several months was higher than the estimate you can get slammed with a big one month charge to correct it. (the billing system takes the tally at last paid and subtracts it from the current read).

Possible solutions:
1. Easy check for leaks - Don't use the water and go look at your meter. There should be a little triangle on it, if it is spinning/moving you have a leak. If you find one check to see if toilets are running. Disconnect your sprinkler system and check again. If it stopped then it's your sprinkler system that's leaking. If it didn't you need a plumber to look at your line from the meter to your house. I've seen small leaks in buried lines put off that much water.

2. If you have a smart meter call the utility office and ask them to poll your meter and for any logs they have of it. Usually a smart meter is only "read" once a month, but some systems can be set to poll more frequently and using that data you can try and find an issue. For instance I knew some folks that swore they had a leak but when they got the data their usage was spiking in the middle of the night a few nights a week. Culprit was they had mis set their sprinkler system and it was running three nights a week instead of one. I don't know whether your city collects the data by wifi or garbage truck, if it's garbage truck it may be hard to do this but you can ask if they have a way to do it.

3. If the data shows a continuous use throughout the day and night and there is no leak(triangle not moving) then it's an electronics issue that should be fixed by replacing the transmitter. It's very rare so you should run the other traps first before asking them to swap it out.

As always be kind and courteous to the staff at the billing office. Like all people they respond better to proactive and nice behavior than raving lunatics. Your goal is to correct the issue and have them feel good about having helped you. Behave accordingly and you can get it solved.
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Old 10-14-2015, 02:02 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
969 posts, read 1,205,856 times
Reputation: 807
In San Antonio SAWS used averages for several summer months without actually reading the meter in a lot of neighborhoods on the northside. When they finally did it was substantially higher because it was a rainy winter and spring and then it dried up in July so people had to start watering. Instead of going up a tier the accounts were slammed for months of higher usage on one bill thus pushing them into very expensive tiers. Needless to say it's a mess and SAWS will be sending substantial refunds. For some odd reason mine has stayed accurate while adjacent neighborhoods have been slammed.

I have no idea if that could be happening there as well but I'd check with your neighbors and see if their bills jumped drastically too.
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Old 10-14-2015, 02:22 PM
 
111 posts, read 41,065 times
Reputation: 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobcat4 View Post
In San Antonio SAWS used averages for several summer months without actually reading the meter in a lot of neighborhoods on the northside. When they finally did it was substantially higher because it was a rainy winter and spring and then it dried up in July so people had to start watering. Instead of going up a tier the accounts were slammed for months of higher usage on one bill thus pushing them into very expensive tiers. Needless to say it's a mess and SAWS will be sending substantial refunds. For some odd reason mine has stayed accurate while adjacent neighborhoods have been slammed.

I have no idea if that could be happening there as well but I'd check with your neighbors and see if their bills jumped drastically too.
There is a certain amount of transmitter failure, you can also have a collection node go down, weirdest one I ever heard was people blocking their transmitter by parking their car over it.
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Old 10-16-2015, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Grand Prairie, TX
80 posts, read 103,703 times
Reputation: 14
I have also heard that with the smart meters, there are 2 parts to it. The new part fits into the old part. If the 2 parts are not sized correctly to fit each other, the meter will misread. In one area, the old part was a 1 and the new part was 3/4. The two parts should have been a 1.
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