DRAINED: KPRC 2 Investigates demands answers for you - about water bill issues in Houston

MAIN PAGE for our MONTHS long investigation into high bills, meter issues, dirty water and lack of city response

KPRC2 Investigates unusually high water bills. (Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

From Acres Homes to Houston’s Energy Corridor and up north in the Crosby area, water customers say they are feeling drained over stressful water bill issues. We hear your complaints about paying too much for water. We hear your frustration and fears about unanswered billing concerns, murky brown water from your tap, poor customer service, and costly water meter issues.

HOUSTON, WE HEAR YOU AND WE ARE ON IT!

The KPRC 2 Investigates team led by Investigator Amy Davis worked for months to get answers about issues impacting several families, and the answers could help you if you are in similar situations. This page is a complete list of all of the stories we are working on.

LIVING WITH NO WATER FOR YEARS

KPRC2 Investigates customers with frustrating water bill issues. (Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

68-year-old Edward Williams has been going about his life at his home in Acres Homes. But for years, there’s been a huge stressor weighing on just about everything. He lived for FOUR YEARS without water all because he was unable to pay a shocking $7,000+ bill. Williams didn’t want to tell his family about it, so he just managed.

One day his son stopped by for a visit and discovered what his dad was dealing with. Eventually, the City of Houston water department allowed his son to pay part of the bill to get the water back on. They are still dealing with payments - but the question remains - how did this happen in the first place?

KPRC 2 Investigates water bill issues in the Houston area. Investigator Amy Davis spoke to Houston City Council members about issues customers say they need help with. (Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

Investigator Amy Davis stopped by city council to talk with city leaders about Mr. Williams and other people who have sent in concerns. You can see a clip from the meeting in the box below.

The KPRC 2 Investigates team is working to get answers for customers about various Houston water bill complaints.

WATCH: Hear from Williams about what’s going on and what the Houston Public Works Director says may be happening in some of these cases.


We are looking for solutions in other water bill cases you’ve called us about

Do you have a tip related to water billing issues that you want us to investigate? Send us a message!


Meter shows same reading, family still billed for water

KPRC 2 Investigates water bill issues in the Houston area. (Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

A family in the Energy Corridor says they are getting billed for water they are not even using. The meter at their home has been stuck on the same number and they’ve tried everything to get help for the issue. Then, the water bills fluctuate drastically from month to month. WATCH: Hear what Public Works Director Carol Haddock has to say about why this might be happening.


Community brown, yucky water

KPRC 2 Investigates water bill issues in the Houston area. People living in the Saddle Creek Farms neighborhood say they've been dealing with brown water for years. (Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

A Houston neighborhood near Crosby has been dealing with murky, brown water for years and they say the city water department won’t help them figure out what is wrong. It’s not just gross, it’s expensive as it also damages appliances and towels. But what is in the water? We had it tested.


Your water bill: Yearly water rate increases

The rising cost of water in the City of Houston is draining some customers. You can expect yearly water rate increases from now until 2026. KPRC 2 Investigates is asking why rates are skyrocketing and what we’re getting for the extra money we’re all paying. The Houston City Council voted to increase the amount you will pay for water every year for the next five years. By April 2026 some Houstonians will be paying 78% more for the same amount of water.

WATCH: Why your water bills will continue to go up


Need to fight your water bill?

KPRC 2 Investigates water bill issues in the Houston area. People frustrated with the Water Adjustment Board - the process of fighting a water bill. (Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

Taking your case to the Water Adjustment Board is part of the process to get your water bill changed after you’ve tried everything else. Although it’s the last option, is the time spent actually worth it? Hear from people who tried to get their water bills lowered. WATCH: How to fight your water bill, a step-by-step guide


Do you pay more than other people for your water bill?

Insiders: See which Houston neighborhoods have the most expensive water bills

We are looking at the zip codes in our area where people pay the highest water bills. What are the odds you’re paying the most for water? WATCH: Who is paying the highest water bills in Houston?

RELATED: How does the Houston water department stack up to other cities?


ASK AMY Episode: How our investigation started, why we are doing it, and answers to some of your questions about water bills

Ask Amy episode looks into why many City of Houston water meter readings are wrong. Also, what you can do to fight a water bill you think is incorrect. (Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

In this week’s Ask Amy episode, Amy Davis and producer Andrea Slaydon talk about the series of water bill stories the team is working on. You’ll also hear from the new Public Works Director, Carol Haddock about why so many meter readings are wrong on your bills... and what is being done to fix the problem.


How often does the city lower water bills when customers ask for adjustments?

Some of you have told us you tried to get an adjustment, you made your case and waited weeks, but felt drained when you were denied. So we asked the water department to show us the numbers. How many people asked for adjustments to their water bills over the last two years and how often did the city actually lower them? WATCH: Adjustment requests and results


QUICK ACCESS: YOUTUBE playlist with the entire ‘DRAINED’ series.


Do you have a water bill issue you would like us to investigate? Send us the details and we will get back to you.


About the Authors:

Passionate consumer advocate, mom of 3, addicted to coffee, hairspray and pastries.

Award-winning TV producer and content creator. My goal as a journalist is to help people. Faith and family motivate me. Running keeps me sane.