FOREST ACRES, SC (WIS) - A Forest Acres man says he was shocked when he got his water bill for last month because the City of Columbia charged him for using more 44,000 gallons of water.
Jack Suber says he's bought his water from the City of Columbia since 1991 when he bought his first house. He's been happy with the service since his bill was averaging around $20.
The rate went up in May, and Suber says it's wasn't that big of a deal, but in June, the city charged him $224.72. Most customers would have seen a $5-$10 increase.
"When you look at the indications, it says I used 5,900 cubic feet of water in June, which is the equivalent of 44,250 gallons of water," said Suber.
"There's no way we used that much water," said Suber.
Between May and June, Suber says city workers replaced the water meter in his front yard, he feels that might have something to do with the odd-reading. He went to city water services to trying and argue the bill, but didn't get very far.
"They told me that I would have to pay the bill and then they would send someone to test the meter," said Suber.
After talking with his neighbors about his problem, Suber realized he wasn't the only one who saw a price spike. He says he ran into others at the water department complaining of this same problem too.
"This water bill is higher than my electric and gas bill. That's a car payment," said Suber. "That hurts."
Jaco said while it's not clear anything went wrong, the city is willing to work with the people affected.
"We need to know about it," said Jaco. "The rate increase would not have increased their bill by that much, obviously."
Jaco also said, if you did get a big bill, don't panic. Call the city's water services center. He says they will work with you to get the problem corrected, even if it's past your bill's due date.
If you have seen similar issues with your water bill you can call 803-545-3300 or click here.