It's not unusual for water and electricity bills to go up in August. But some Central Texans' water bills are so high, they want answers.
Hundreds of residents are voicing their concerns online. This is after receiving their water bill for August and seeing an increase of two, three, even four times what they normally pay.
From one month to the next, Lisa Rose says the numbers just don't add up. She's lives in Allandale and has never seen her water bill this high.
"I was shocked when I opened up my bill. I thought I was going to faint. It had gone from five thousand gallons a month, which for me was a lot and I actually thought that was a lot last month, to twelve-thousand gallons in one month. Nothing had changed," says Lisa Rose, Allandale resident.
She also had a plumbing company come out but they found no large leaks. That's when she posted on Next Door, a neighborhood social network where residents voice their concerns.
"I'm wondering if anyone else noticed a gigantic increase in water consumption on their recent bill," says Rose.
She never expected to receive more than a hundred comments. Like Madelon Highsmith in Northwest Hills who has seen an even larger increase than most. From $400 in July to close to $1,000 in August.
"We put in a swimming pool last Summer and it was half the amount we were billed this month. We were out of town this billing cycle, two weeks of it, and my son was away at camp," says Madelon Highsmith, Northwest Hills resident.
She says instead of waiting for the City of Austin to respond, citizens should take matters into their own hands.
"I think we need to all start monitoring our meters. Taking a picture of them at the beginning of the billing cycle and again at the end and maybe throughout. So we can keep an eye and maybe help them solve the problem," says Highsmith.
We contacted Austin City Council Member Leslie Pool to see if they've had any complaints.
"Council offices have received a number of emails from residents citywide, all expressing shock over their water bills. There's a very specific instance in District 7 where the resident has done a look-back on her water bills to demonstrate a clear uptick in water use that's highly unusual. Both Austin Water Utility and Austin Energy are investigating what might be the cause of the sudden spike in water use in instances like this particular one," says Leslie Pool, Austin City Council, District 7.
It's not just across Austin. Many Cedar Park residents are seeing an increase too. The Ranch at Brushy Creek even took to their Facebook page to try to solve the problem.
"It's been higher during the Summer months of course but nothing that jumps up by a factor of three or four times higher than we usually consume," says Assaad Hamade, Cedar Park resident.
The City of Cedar Park sent us a statement saying: