WENTZVILLE, Mo. - A Wentzville family said their water bill suddenly increased by 900% last month.
After getting the runaround from the city, they turned to 5 On Your Side for help.
“I could stand on my driveway and sell water to the whole of Wentzville, and I couldn’t use that much water,” said Alice Phillips, who owns a home in Wentzville.
Phillips and her grandson said they thought their bills were reasonable at first.
“When we first started there, we were paying $70 that was for all the utilities,” she said.
They showed Five On Your Side bills from April and May from the City of Wentzville for about $70 each month. The amount for water was less than $30.
But then in August, Phillips said things went haywire.
“I get the bill. It’s $370. I almost swallowed my teeth if I could’ve,” Phillips said.
The water portion of the August bill was a little lower, but still it went from about $30 to $332.00.
“I was shocked and everyone else I’ve talked to says there’s no way,” she said.
Phillips' grandson Robert Burns lives in the house right now by himself until Phillips moves in this January.
Burns said he uses a normal amount of water every day, showering once a day.
“Like average people. Maybe one a day. I guess do use water for other reasons of course, washing dishes and what not, but I don’t even have a washer/dryer or a dishwasher,” he said.
The City of Wentzville Utility Department found this modest household went from over 6,000 gallons to about 83,000 gallons.
One expert said that amount of water would fill around five swimming pools.
“We’ve actually been to City Hall a couple times. They told us they’re investigating and would get back with us but nothing’s happened,” Phillps said.
5 On Your Side went to city hall to ask about the bill. A spokesperson there said the City checked for leaks in pipes or the toilet and a malfunctioning meter.
But they have found nothing so far. They are still investigating.