WATER BILL WOES: Columbia couple says they were charged for usin - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

WATER BILL WOES: Columbia couple says they were charged for using enough water to fill Olympic sized pool

(Source: WISTV) (Source: WISTV)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

A Midlands couple said they were in disbelief when they saw their water bill, which normally costs around $30 each month, was more than $600 this time around.

Austin Spake and Tabitha Golunbek say they’ve been living at their home in Columbia for about seven months and have never seen a water bill this high.

“We normally pay around $30 for an average of three units of water each cycle and we got hit with a 101-unit bill, which is over $600,” says Spake. 

The city is claiming the couple used around 750,000 gallons of water in just one billing cycle. That’s more than what’s used to fill an Olympic sized pool.

“It’s just us two. We have one bathroom. It’s not like we have six people in here all taking showers. Our cats, they don’t use a lot of water. When I brush my teeth, I turn the faucet off. I hardly use any water,” says Golunbek.

After reaching out to the city, they were told the price hike was a result of human error on the city’s part and offered 50% off their bill.

“They’re saying, ‘hey, we’re sorry. We don’t know what’s wrong, but we’ll give you a discount.’ But, that’s still not good enough. That’s not morally right,” says Spake.

Even with 50% off, the bill is still more than $300. Still, much more than the $30 bills they’re used to.

“I’m willing to pay for what I’ve used, but I’m not going to pay more. I’m not going to pay for water that I did not use,” says Golunbek.

WIS reached out to the City regarding the bill. They tell us they’re records show the meter was accurate, despite acknowledging to Austin and Tabitha that the price hike was the result of a “human error.”

City Water leaders still have not been able to identify why the bill is showing so much water was used.

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