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You Ask: where's the proof behind couple's sky-high water bill?

You Ask: where's the proof behind couple's sky-high water bill?

By Katie Crowther. CREATED Sep 20, 2011

Las Vegas (KTNV) - A local couple is fighting back after getting a water bill for more than $1,200.

The Southern Nevada Water Authority claims the couple was undercharged since October of 2008, because of a faulty water meter. Now they want the homeowner to pay-up. But the homeowner wants proof.

"If the Water Authority is openly admitting that its meter is faulty, how can I justifiably give them another $1,200 out of my pocket to say they're right and I'm wrong," asks Kevin O'Brien. "It's so frustrating. I've never been late on a payment or anything, and we switched to desert landscaping more than three years ago to save water and money."

The latest bill comes from what the Water Authority found to be three years worth of inaccurate meter readings. The agency says after investigating the O'Brien's meter, and their average water consumption, it was able to determine that the couple was charged for less water than they've actually been using.

"Service Rules allow us to make an adjustment of a bill for failure of a meter, or failure of equipment," says Roger Buehrer, a Public Information Officer with the Water Authority.

But if it's a faulty meter, how does the Water Authority know what its charging is accurate?

"We have periods of time that we know the meter was accurate," Buehrer says. "And we compare that to what we're actually using now, and we adjust the bill accordingly."

O'Brien wants to know, if his faulty meter dates back to October of 2008, how did the Water Authority just find out now? "We never had any notice that we were possibly overusing water. No one ever knocked on our door to check anything out."

That's why the O'Briens think something is fishy, and refuse to pay. But the only help the Water Authority is offering, is a three-year payment plan, and a promise that they'll be out to check if there's a leak in the home.

If there is a water leak found, the Water Authority says it will make bill adjustments.

We will continue to follow this story, and bring you updates.

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