Water bills, use on the rise around Houston area

By Ryan Korsgard - Reporter

HOUSTON - From Spring to Spring Branch and Sienna Plantation to southwest Houston, residents have said their water bill and reported use has skyrocketed in the last few weeks. 

That is true for Elaine Mahr in Spring. Her latest bill was more than double the month before. She knew there was a problem. 

"My husband asked around some neighbors and my neighbors had had the same issues. So, it had jumped a lot," Mahr said.

Her last bill was about $130 for 7,800 gallons of water. But this most recent month, it showed she used 41,000 gallons of water costing her $303. She said, with only two people at home, there is no reason it should have jumped so high. 

She said she called her water company, Aqua Texas, for answers.

"They said that they thought the meter was correct and they would send a guy out to read it. And they did. And they called my husband back and said the meter was correct and that that was our bill and that we needed to pay it," Mahr said. "My husband thinks that for the last few months they didn't read the meter and they just guesstimated and came up with a number and this past month they did come and read the meter and they charged us for the difference and they're playing catch up now. Trying to get their money back."

A spokesperson for Aqua Texas said the customer service manager reviewed the account and confirmed that the Mahrs used 41,000 gallons of water from July 21 to Aug. 20.

"We have lived here 22 years. I think our highest bill ever was in the $220 range. That was, like, last summer. $303 is a bit high," Mahr said.

The Public Utility Commission of Texas said it doesn't track or set the water rates. A spokesperson assumes that use could be up because the spring was wet and it has been dry lately. 

KPRC 2 reached out to the city of Houston, but we are still waiting for a response.

Some examples of bill increases from KPRC 2 viewers across the area:

  • Spring Creek: $100 to $300
  • Fort Bend County: $88 to $224
  • Spring Branch: $63 to $374
  • Sienna Plantation: $108 to $204
  • Montgomery County: $225 to $497

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