Man unaware of leak now upset over $2,000 water bill

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL)—A local Marine corps and Army veteran is speaking out about a water leak that led to a high bill. A leak he only discovered after the bill came in.

Bill Stiver uses the Red River Authority of Texas and he’s claiming the company doesn’t notify customers when water usage seems abnormal.
However, Red River Authority said that’s not the case.

“What they could’ve done in a phone call cost me over $2,600,” Red River Authority of Texas customer Bill Stiver said.

He said a bill for around $585 came in with a usage of more than 62,000 gallons of water.

“That’s my responsibility because it’s on my side of the meter and it was the first time anybody knew there was a leak, but the first time they notified me was 20 something days later,” Stiver said.

Stiver’s bill for mid-April to mid-May came at the start of June. Stiver assumes responsibility for the leak. However, he’s upset he never received a phone call from the company alerting him there may be a leak.

“If we see a high bill it’ll kick it out as an abnormal bill, and I don’t know what the percentage is of what makes it abnormal and then what we’ll do is we’ll check the history,” Red River Authority of Texas General Manager Randy Whiteman said. “Now we’ll do this if we have time to think about it, it’s kind of like a random thing it’s not every single meter.”

Stiver said he fixed the leak himself for around $10 and he paid the bill. However, again, he said he didn’t get his bill for around 20 days after the reading.

“From the time they read it to the time I got it, another 230,000 gallons had run into this bar ditch,” Stiver said.

That’s 230,000 gallons with a $2,000 price tag. Red River Authority said there’s no policy to notify customers if usage doesn’t seem out of the ordinary. They determine this by comparison of previous bills.

“We don’t necessarily look at last month, we look at last year the same time period,” Whiteman said.

Though Stiver paid both bills and understands his property, his responsibility, he said he doesn’t believe the Red River Authority followed policy in his case.

Stiver said he wants to protect his neighbors from experiencing the same thing, while the Red River Authority reminds customers to always check their own property for leaks.

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