$1,600 bill for water? Magnolia residents upset, complains to city about unreasonably high water bills

Families say sometimes water is also cut off for hours

MAGNOLIA – Families in one Magnolia neighborhood are desperate for answers after they reported months of unreasonably high water bills.

“We got our first initial water bill (and) it was like $1,659,” said homeowner Bridgit Spencer.

Spencer said it was the start of a major water nightmare for her family after they moved into Mill Creek Estates last summer.

“I did the proper protocol, I called the plumber and I got the sprinkler, got everything checked,” said Spencer.

Spencer said the plumber didn’t find any leaks and she reported the issue to the City of Magnolia.

“They did come out and check my meter and found out that it was a faulty meter and they replaced the meter,” said Spencer.

But she said the problems have continued, and at times, the water has been cut off completely for hours at a time.

“I’m not using the sprinkler system and I’m still getting a $700 to $800 water bill,” she said. “When you look at it across the board, the mathematics doesn’t even add up.”

The issues are haunting many of her neighbors, one with a bill as high as $1,300.

“When you go to the city and ask for answers, they say, ‘you must have a leak,’” said one resident. “Well, if somebody has 100,000 gallons of water being used in a month, their house would be floating!”

Residents packed the Magnolia City Council meeting on Tuesday.

“It has been really hard for some of us to pay the mortgage and on top of these water bills,” said another resident.

KPRC2 tracked down the city administrator who stressed the issues are only happening in the Mill Creek Estates neighborhood.

“We are assuming the meters are correct. I have no reason to believe the meters are not correct,” said Don Doering.

He said they’re working to find a solution.

“We want to help. We want to find the problem. We’re searching. We have the city engineer involved and meter manufacturers” said Doering.

Spencer said money for her water bills is drying up.

“It has to be resolved and we are paying these bills, and they are threatening if you don’t pay these bills that we’re going to disconnect it,” said Spencer.

Magnolia Mayor Todd Kana sent KPRC2 the following statement regarding the issue:

“We are currently working with the meter supplier to verify accuracy. No water customer has had their service interrupted because of past due amounts nor will they while we work to resolve any possible issues. If meter issues or inaccuracies are discovered, accounts will be reconciled accordingly.”

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