Hallsville Residents Complain about Water Bill Increases
HALLSVILLE - Residents are complaining about increases in their water bills this month. The City Council raised the water and sewer rates back in October 2011 and water bill rates followed suit. However, Heather Kattelus's bill was over the top.
Kattelus has a household of five. The family's bill reports them using 9,200 gallons of water last month. That's enough water to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool or water 100 head of cattle a month. Kattelus said she paid $209 last month compared to normally spending between $55 to $66 monthly. Mayor Cheri Reisch said this is also due to Kattelus not paying her bill on time.
City administrator Joe Smith said the household uses on average 100 to 200 gallons per day.
"When we went in to pay the bill he said we were using 200 gallons of water a day. That's even when I'm in school full time, Tim works, the kids are in school. So there's really no one using 200 gallons a day," Kattelus said.
This is the second time in about a year that Kattelus's bill has been so high. Kattelus thinks her water meter is broken.
"I had some issues a year prior where we were having these high water bills again. It ended up being that they just weren't reading our meter at all or correctly," Kattelus said.
City officials recommended that she change her toilet to make sure there wasn't a leak. Kattelus changed it twice but her bills continue to go up and down sporadically.
"Once it goes through the meter it's out of their hands. They don't go looking for leaks," Smith said.
Mayor Reisch said she sympathizes with her situation but believes it is likely that Kattelus is using that much water and just doesn't realize it. She says once water meters get old they will slow down and eventually stop.
Kattelus said her meter is no longer spinning.
"I've never in my 30 years seen a water meter speed up. So normally it will show not enough usage versus too much usage," Reisch said.
The city council agreed to replace Kattelus's water meter on Tuesday. Reisch said the city will begin checking all water meters starting this week.
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