Southeast Austin water customer says ‘something isn't right'

For 20 years, Derek Nesby says his water usage has been pretty predictable.

“My average bill was no more than $150 at the most,” said Nesby.

His bills from the city lists all services broken down. He says his electricity is usually the one that runs the highest. Lately it's been his water use. The latest being more than $250.

“This is outrageous. I asked them, how can I use $43 for electricity and $257 for water and it's just two people here? I have no leaks, something's going on,” said Nesby.

Nesby says the bills started spiking last fall. He applied for a high bill adjustment and says the city approved. He was told he would see those adjustments on his next bill.

But according to him, he has not seen that credit yet. When we asked the city about Nesby's bill they said nothing was wrong.

“We have no reason to believe we are providing inaccurate billing,” said Robert Cullick with the City of Austin Utilities Department.

The city says his usage went up to around 20,000 gallons. He is not a part of that group of 7,400 people who were affected by the August/September anomaly last year.

“We've begun to flow back about $135,000 for those customers,” said Cullick.

“We're taking photographs of every meter we read. That's going to allow us to rebuild trust with customers, that the water bill they receive through the City of Austin Utilities is an accurate representation of their water use,” said Cullick.

As for Nesby, he wants to trust the city's readings but cannot understand where the spike in usage is coming from, if there is no leak.