GAHANNA, Ohio (WCMH) — 85-year-old Juan Turiaga pores over his bills.
All of them.
“Water bills, electric bills, mortgage bills,” he said.
Unlike his regular monthly expenses his income is fixed and making sense of every dollar spent is critical.
“Well I’m retired and I only live with my social security,” said Turiaga.
So he knew something didn’t add up after he got a new water meter from the city of Gahanna.
“Before the meter was changed, the highest was $264.”
Then got his bill.
“This is the first bill since the meter was changed and it went up to $516,” said Turiaga.
Grant Crawford, Gahanna’s interim public service and engineering director says Turiaga isn’t alone.
“We have received a small amount of complaints from residents who are experiencing higher than what they have seen for normal usage and for a normal bill,” he said.
Crawford said the spike is likely caused by a leak, what he calls a ‘more accurate’ water meter or both.
NBC4 asked Crawford is there’s ever been an instance that he knows of where the city or a meter is to blame for a water billing error.
“I have never known of an instance where the meter’s been running faster,” he said.
Crawford said residents like Triage can hire a plumber to ensure there are no leaks or pay $80 plus testing cost to have his meter checked.
Turiago said he ended up just paying his recent water bill but doesn’t buy the city’s explanation for the error.
“I didn’t do anything. They were the ones who tinkered, then something happened.,” he said.
The city of Gahanna said it will continue gradually installing the new water meters for the rest of the residents over the next couple of years.
Crawford said anyone with questions or concerns about their water bills can call the city and learn about tips, alternatives and