Wichita homeowners voice frustration with spike in water bill

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money generic(KWCH)
Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 9:33 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - If you’re a Wichita resident seeing a spike in your water bill, you’re not alone. Eyewitness News is hearing from several Wichita homeowners who are facing a 150 percent increase in water bills over the last month. Several homeowners in one Wichita neighborhood have already made complaints to the city after receiving a $400 water bill. The city said rates haven’t increased recently, but homeowners believe there could be a deeper issue.

While water consumption is generally higher during the summer, a $400 bill is far from average for Wichita homeowner Karen Bonner.

“My immediate reaction was shock at the dollar amount,” she said. “And then I was even more shocked at the amount of water that the city stated that we have used.”

Bonner suspects there could be problems with the water meter after receiving a bill for using 32,000 gallons of water, about double what the homeowner used in August 2020.

“My gut tells me that this is most likely incorrect and I’m hoping that the city can find that that is the case,” Bonner said. “I’ve heard from other people, numerous other people via social media, in my neighborhood and other neighborhoods that they’re experiencing the same things. Some people even say they’ve used the same amount of water or less, but their bills are hundreds of dollars higher. So, my gut tells me this has got to be wrong.”

A couple doors down from Bonner, Kelly Robinson’s water bill shot up $250 in one month.

The City of Wichita told Eyewitness News it has not raised water rates since December and ratepayers are only charged for the water that’s used. Storm Team 12 found that rainfall from April 1 to now is comparable to last year and the difference from 2020 to 2021 is not enough to blame weather on the significant increase in bills.

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