Ahwatukee Residents Still Want Explanation For Water Bill Spike

Published: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 7:07am
Updated: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 1:22pm
(Photo by Mariana Dale - KJZZ)
This pocket park is maintained by the Foothills Gateway HOA, which received a water bill more than six times the normal amount in the month of July.

A group of Ahwatukee Foothills residents are still searching for answers after an unexpected summer spike in their water bills.

Jim Swanson is the deputy Water Services director for the city of Phoenix. He said a recent sample of 400 meters shows more than 99 percent accuracy, and a survey of Ahwatukee water usage for the last three years didn’t find any problems either.

“Based on preliminary data, we aren’t seeing any spikes in water consumption, so that’s a good thing,” Swanson said. “However, what that does is that it doesn’t answer the customers’ concern. And so what we do, is we will also, like I said, we'll come out into the field and we'll inspect the equipment to make sure the equipment is correct."

City staff will meet with residents 6 p.m. Thursday night at the Pecos Community Center to answer questions.

City Councilman Sal DiCiccio’s office, which represents the area, helped field residents’ questions.

Sam Stone is the chief of staff and said many bills could be explained by a leak or this year’s increase in water prices, but a handful of cases are still unsolved.

“It’s those that we’re most concerned about here,” Stone said.

Phoenix residents with questions about their water bill can reach the Water Service's Department customer service line.

Steve Manolis is vice president of the Foothills Gateway Homeowners Association, which received a $6,500 water bill for July 2016, more than six times their usual total.

The HOA maintains the common area landscaping and a small pocket park. Manolis said there were no signs of flooding or leakage that would have ballooned the area’s water usage to nearly a million gallons.

“When there’s no evidence, you still are stuck with this large bill,” Manolis said.

They had appealed the water bill and eventually paid the bill to avoid the risk of a water shutoff. Manolis said the city inspected and replaced the water meter at their request.

“We wanted still an explanation of where did a million gallons go,” Manolis said.

When Manolis’ wife Susan posted about the charge to social media, they received dozens of comments from neighbors who also saw steep water bills.

“If a number of people are seeing the same situation, maybe somebody needs to dig a little bit deeper into it,” Manolis said. 

If you like this story, Donate Now!