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Water bills crest at unexpected highs in Flower Mound, Lantana

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A water bill from a Flower Mound resident shows an abnormally high rate of usage for July 2015 (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/FlowerMoundCares).
A water bill from a Flower Mound resident shows an abnormally high rate of usage for July 2015 (Photo Courtesy: Facebook/FlowerMoundCares).

Unusually high water bills have been flooding some Lantana and Flower Mound residents with concerns recently.

In Lantana, 146 inquiries about unusually high water bills have come to General Manager Kevin Mercer over the past 3 months.

“This resulted in 65 investigations where a district employee visited the home to check the meter,” Mercer said. “Of those 65 visits, 11 leaks were discovered and no malfunctioning meters were found.”

The remaining queries were resolved apart from an investigation.

“Due to the unusually wet spring I think residents got used to not having to irrigate and now we’ve gone 60 days with no rain and people are having to water 2 to 3 times per week,” Mercer said. “I think it’s a matter of getting one water bill during a really wet spring and then getting a different kind [amount] of bill during the drought-like conditions we have going on now.”

As for those residents with high bills who did not have leaks or malfunctioning meters at their homes, they will have to pay their bill, Mercer said. He explained that as water meters age, their ability to gauge usage slows down, so older meters would not be causing a higher water bill.

Residents can also request a flow test, which is used to determine if a water meter is properly calibrated.

To the south, in Flower Mound, residents are also seeing a spike in their bills.

“My entire neighborhood of Bridlewood is up in arms over their water bills,” said resident Nicole Warren. “Neighbors are complaining consumption rates have doubled, tripled and even quadrupled over the prior service period while watering habits have either decreased due to vacationing and/or remained unchanged.”

Warren said the city’s utility office is sending out a meter reader to check her water meter. Her bill showed that her household consumed 34,300 gallons of water.

“I am assuming it will check out, I will not have a leak and will be forced to pay a bill I can’t comprehend I generated,” she said.

The Town of Flower Mound has been receiving numerous calls from residents with higher than expected water bills. This issue is separate from a recent billing error where Zone 10 customers received a zero-consumption water bill, said Spokeswoman Molly Fox.

Right now, the town is working on verifying the information it has received.

“There have been some issues in which there was a problem with the meter,” said Town Manager Jimmy Stathatos, adding that there have also been some leaks found.

Stathatos lives in Bridlewood and indicated that his water bill has also increased.

“However, in many situations, the resident’s usage has been consistent with the same month for the previous years,” he said. “That being said, we’re checking every possible issue to make sure that there aren’t any other problems that we haven’t identified. We’re checking everything.”

Read more from the Town of Flower Mound here.

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