San Diego man furious with city over $2,000 water bill

Posted at 11:23 AM, Jul 19, 2018

SAN DIEGO - A San Diego man is furious about getting a water bill more than $2,000, and he said that the city is not doing anything about it.

Chuck Patton said his average bill is around $100, so this is about 20 times higher than normal.

Patton said he first spotted the trouble a few months ago when the bill doubled. He said the city came out in March, checked his water meter but didn't spot any leaks.

Then, a month later, the bill was practically off the chart.

Patton gave a tour of his modest condo in Mira Mesa. His daughter and her husband remodeled it about two years ago.

"This is new. Do you see it leaking?" Patton asked. "You don't see anything. You don't hear anything dripping here."

His frustration only growing after getting the most expensive water bill of his life -- more than $2,000.

Patton even had a reporter look at the water meter, which didn't appear to be moving. He then showed the reporter his bill, which indicated he used an average of 2,342 gallons per day in April.

The usage is enough to fill the average swimming pool six times in a month, except Patton doesn't own a pool.

"Over 2,000 gallons of water would fill the bottom of my house for a foot and a half to two feet," he said.

Patton said he's called the city several times and has gotten nowhere.

"I'm not going to have anything to do with this fraudulent, erroneous bill," he exclaimed.

According to Patton, city officials keep telling him the matter takes time to investigate and they ask him if he's watering his lawn too much.

"I don't have a lawn," Patton said, pointing to his artificial grass in the backyard. “That lawn doesn't need watering.”

He also showed a reporter his plants, and he added, "It takes maybe a gallon a week.”

Patton also has water-saving nozzles to keep his hoses from leaking.

"It's like talking to a rock, and they just keep repeating the same thing," he said. "They try to get you to acknowledge it could have been."

So far, he's paid $145 in good faith, but when this month's bill came, it still said he owed more than $2,000.

"It's wrong,” said Patton.

When a reporter contacted the city, an official said, "We will absolutely look into it immediately."

Patton strongly believes the water department is taking advantage of seniors like himself.

He also said they couldn't guarantee they wouldn't shut off his water.