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Second Richmond resident says city is overcharging them for water

Posted at 9:48 PM, Dec 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-15 23:32:01-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- A second Richmond resident has come forward saying the city is overcharging them for water. Grant Matthews said the city is overcharging for water to the tune of roughly $500.

“It says 0813…compared to my most recent bill which read somewhere around 853,” Matthews said while showing CBS 6 reporter Melissa Hipolit his meter.

Meter

“I feel like I`ve loaned them money and they should pay me back with interest,” Matthews said.

Matthews said the issue started one year ago, which is when he noticed the “E” on his bill. The “E” stands for estimate.

“According to the bill, they estimate when they can`t access your meter,” Matthews said.

Matthews said the estimate is based on previous usage, but he said he’s using much less water now than last year. “I had two full time roommates, and I wasn`t traveling for work, so our water usage is far different now,” Matthews said.

Grant Matthews

Grant Matthews

His bills show he was charged $124 in September of this year, but just $110 in September of last year.

He said that does not make sense. “That's atrocious,” Matthews said.

This isn’t the first time a CBS6 viewer reached out to us with concerns about their water bill.

Back in November, we talked to a woman whose water bill skyrocketed unexpectedly.

Matthews said the issue started one year ago, which is when he noticed the “E” on his bill. The “E” stands for estimate.

Matthews said the issue started one year ago, which is when he noticed the “E” on his bill. The “E” stands for estimate.

“That`s worse than my case,” Matthews said while watching the November story.

Angela Hamlet told us the city started estimating her usage. She said the estimated usage was still too high.

Matthews said their stories should remind people to check their meter and their bill.

“I`m sure there`s more out there…if you see an E on there start thinking about how accurate it is,” Matthews said.

CBS 6 reached out to the city about Matthews’ issue, and are still waiting to hear back.

But, Department of Public Utilities spokesperson Angela Fountain told us in November the following:

More than 97 percent of city water bills issued to customers are actual readings. The only time there is an estimated reading is when a meter fails to register an actual reading. Fountain said that rarely occurs.

If you get a city water bill that’s unusually high, contact the customer care center at 646-7000.

Fountain said to make sure that you ask for a technician to come out and check your meter if you have doubts.