North County residents frustrated by spike in water bills

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SAN DIEGO — Dozens of residents in North County are complaining about skyrocketing water bills and meter readings they say don’t add up.

FOX 5 was there Tuesday as a Cardiff-by-the-Sea homeowner tried to get answers from the San Dieguito Water District about what’s happening with her bill. 

“I called again because that just didn’t make sense – that I could jump literally 52,000 gallons in water and not have any sort of explanation,” she said on the phone. “I’ve been at our home for 21 years and the water bill was always consistent.”

That was until June of 2020, which coincides with a 6.5% rate increase. But she says that doesn’t account for the nearly doubling and sometimes tripling of her bill over the last 9 months. She said she had San Dieguito come out and check the meter but they found nothing wrong.

“It was read on February 2 and everything was good, the meter was working fine, no leak. The next bill I had gotten was like $500,” she said. “To gauge this, I went from a $200 water bill, $245 on the high side during October, September months, to a $565 water bill and I have no backyard.”

Thinking she must have a leak, which homeowners are responsible for fixing, she called an expert. She said they found none.

She shared her frustration on the social media app Nextdoor, which generated hundreds of responses from homeowners in the area with nearly the same issue. They said they’ve gotten no explanation or help from San Dieguito Water District. 

“It’s just way too much water. It’s gone up 3 1/2 times in two years — 50,000, 52,000 gallons a month — there’s just no way!” 

FOX 5 reached out to San Dieguito to see what’s going on. They sent a statement that reads in part: “San Dieguito Water District personnel will be reviewing the specific area and surrounding locations and will communicate with the citizen directly.”

They also offered a phone number for anyone with concerns. Anyone experiencing unusually high water usage is asked to contact Mary Kazungu with the San Dieguito Water District at 760-633-2651.

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