Numerous Yukon water customers are noticing unexplained spikes in their bills recently. The city manager pointed to increased water usage during summer months, but some say that is not the case.
Most families do water the grass more and fill up their pools when it is hot outside, but last month, Sheridan Carlton saw a nearly $500 increase on her family's bill, and part of that time they were not even in town.
"This lady's was an exceptional bill, probably the largest I've seen in a deviation," admitted Yukon city manager James Crosby. "We're trying to figure out what happened."
Carlton went from owing $68.99 in May to $536 in June, and she tells News 9 there is no way her family used that much water.
"All I know is we checked the meter several times. The water went through there, and we're billing for it," Crosby said.
Crosby said Yukon has filled 4,670 work orders on water meters so far this year, calling it "rare" to find one that is actually broken. He said the system automatically alerts them when a meter reads significantly higher or lower than its normal usage, but the unit is not retired until there is a proven problem or it has been in use for ten years.
"They can't put it off on, 'oh, they're using more water,' when they don't live with us," said Brandon Tucker, whose bill doubled last month despite getting rid of his pool, not watering his lawn and a family member moving out of the house altogether.
"They couldn't give me any explanation as to why or how that could have happened," Tucker said.
Tucker's bill returned to the normal rate this billing cycle, but he said people who live paycheck to paycheck should not have to dole out money they do not have for water they did not use.
Crosby advises anyone with concerns to call the City, so a crew can come check the meter for problems and leaks. If they do not find any problems, try to keep track of your own habits to see if your bill still is not matching up, and speak up when you notice something out of the ordinary.
For those who can prove a history of incorrect billing, the City of Yukon will adjust the customer's bill to counterbalance the previous charges.