Christopher Reed says he’s drowning in high water bills. Kansas City Water Services is threatening to disconnect his services, once again.
“It's enormously high. It is the highest water bill I’ve ever had ... lived Houston, Austin, Chicago, Indiana ... I’ve never had a water bill this high,” he said.
Reed and his landlord struggle to explain why his bill is so high. It averages $240 a month. He currently owes almost a $1,000 because the bills have built up.
“The humiliating part is when I can't meet my obligation with the water, I can't pay everything they want when they want, and they interrupt my service. I’ve got to face my family and look at them in the eye and have an explanation as to why this is off,” said Reed.
Reed says his consumption makes no sense. He showed the KCTV5 investigative unit his water bills. October was low for usage, and Reed says that should have been his highest month because his daughter and granddaughter stayed with him.
Somehow January and February skyrocketed.
Reed says that should have been his highest month. That was when fewer people lived in the house and the family didn’t do laundry because the washing machine was broken.
His landlord says she has sent multiple contractors to the home to see if a big leak is causing big problems.
“Three separate contractors have come to this house. All three tell me there is no leak,” Cynthia Haynes said.
Kansas City Water Services has sent multiple workers to Reed’s home. They couldn’t find any problems but changed his meter to one that tracks hourly usage to see if the problem is just high consumption or possibly a leak,
The water company says they work with people when leaks happen and bills shock a family. They offer a one-time adjustment if you have an outrageous bill and have fixed the problem. All you have to do just ask.
They say the biggest culprit when it comes to a sudden high bill is a leaky toilet.
Kansas City water bills are higher than many comparable cities. The average family with small consumption pays about $115 a month.
If you live in St. Louis you would pay $80. It’s as low as $46 in Nashville. Atlanta is $128, and Seattle is $138.
KCTV5’s investigative department was provided water rates for 12 comparable cities. After we crunched the numbers, the average was $88.
One of our trending concerns on the KCTV5 investigative tip line is high water rates. If you have a concern you’d like to tell us about, email us at email@example.com.
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