Why Has the Water Bill Gone Up?

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Have you received a bill in the mail and were shocked? One Odessa man was bowled over. He was charged for using six thousand gallons of water on his bill. But he had no idea where that water went too.

"You got two people using the same amount of water, month in and month out, why do you have two thousand gallons you use one month, and eight thousand gallons you use the next month," said Pete Whitling of Odessa.

It's a big mystery at Whitling's home. He said he keeps track of how much water he uses. However, month after month, the bill is never the same.

"I mean sometimes its four thousand gallons, sometimes its five thousand gallons, sometimes its six thousand gallons, and it should all be within a hundred gallons, because you got the same two people taking the same amount of baths day in, day out," explained Whitling.

And there's one thing you won't find a lot of at his house: Grass. Whitling said he does have several bubblers in his backyard, but rarely uses them. And he said they weren't on last month when the bill went up. He said he's called the city about the 6 thousand gallon increase, and wonders if anyone really does check the water meter.

"Not one time have I ever seen anybody actually look at the water meter. I'm not saying they don't look at it, I'm saying in 14 years that I've been retired , and I'm here basically day in and day out, I've never seen anybody look at the water meter," added Whitling.

But is it possible his water was stolen?

"Nobody stole any water around here, there's only one hydrant in the front yard. How are you going to steal 6 thousand gallons of water out of one hydrant?" asked Whitling.

The bottom line: He just wants a full explanation why the bills just never add up.

"I have nothing to hide. We have no leaks here, no yard, no kids. How do you go from two thousand gallons to 8 thousand gallons?" asked Whitling. "Boy, it must be them aliens, I guess, I don't know."

He said he does plan on paying his water bill, but he said he will do it "in protest." NewsWest 9 did talk to the city about the problem. They confirmed to us there is no water leak at his house, and there is someone from the city who checks his water meter regularly. They explained he has used more water in January than in past months, but Whitling said there's no sign anything has changed month to month.