CREATED Sep. 11, 2013
CAPE CORAL, Fla. - No matter how much you like your neighbors, you probably don't want to get stuck footing any of their bills. A Cape Coral man said he realized something wasn't right with his water bill when it jumped from $106 to $343 in one month.
"What the hell, this can't be right," Chuck Liptak said when he opened his bill.
Initially, Liptak thought he had some sort of leak that caused the spike in usage. He called out a plumber who didn't find a leak, but found something else. Robert Abdow, of Abdow Plumbing, found turning the neighbor's hose knob on and off makes Liptak's meter turn.
"Every time that flow indicator turns, he's paying for it," Abdow said. "Every time they open a faucet, flush a toilet, it's going to make his flow indicator move."
Liptak's next bill was $423. Then, something interesting happened. Liptak said his neighbor moved out, and his next bill dropped back down to $90.
"That's a big chunk of money... And it could help other people in the future because if they don't know why their water bill is so high, maybe they need to check," Liptak said.
When Abdow realized the problem, he said he reached out to the City of Cape Coral. He said the City denied the problem.
Four in Your Corner brought the issue to the City, and water crews went out this afternoon to inspect the valve. Although they couldn't replicate the problem, City spokeswoman Connie Barron said the City will replace Liptak's valve and meter, and look into readjusting his previous bills.