Titusville residents want answers after water bills skyrocket

Resident says usage more than doubled in 1 month

By Jennifer Ortega - Reporter

TITUSVILLE, Fla. - Titusville homeowners said the numbers on their water bills aren't adding up, and they're paying hundreds of dollars because of it.

A Titusville homeowner said she's so worried about her water bill, she goes outside every other day just to check her meter and make sure the reading on the meter looks accurate.

"I don't mind paying for water that I use. I just have a big problem paying for a bill that just comes up without cause," Nadine De Freitas said.

De Freitas, who has been living at her home for 20 years, said she has been going back and forth with the water department after her bill showed a sudden spike in usage.

"We leave in the dark and we come home in the dark, and I work two jobs, and it's kind of hard to add this to the thing," she said. "It was $252. It's usually around $80 or $90."

She showed us her bills from last year, from January to September, when her highest usage was 7,000 gallons a month. In October, the bill more than doubled to 17,000 gallons.

"They asked me, 'Do you have a leak? Is somebody stealing your water? Have you left a hose on? Is the toilet running?'" De Freitas said.

She said she isn't the only one dealing with the problem. At a City Council meeting last week, other residents showed up with questions about their unexplained high water bills.

"Anytime there's a very large usage and some kind of anomaly -- our citizens are trustworthy folks, so when they bring us a problem, the hope is that we listen to it and act upon it accordingly," Vice Mayor Matt Barringer said.

Barringer said the city is aware of the problem and called it an ongoing issue. He said that, right now, the City Council is reviewing its policies and looking to put the issue on the agenda in an upcoming council meeting.

"I'm not going to lie and say, 'I left my water on,' because we need to get to the bottom of this," De Freitas said.

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