Central Texas family questions $935 water bill - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Central Texas family questions $935 water bill

(Source: KXXV) (Source: KXXV)
COPPERAS COVE, TX (KXXV) -

Central and Bernadette Hicks have lived in their Copperas Cove home since 1999 and in those 17 years, they say they've never had any issues with the city until now.

In May, the Hicks got a $935 water bill, which is 9 times the normal $100 bill they normally get monthly.

"When we got this $935 bill, the first thing we did was look under our home. We were expecting to see a swell of water. [But it was] bone dry. Nothing," said Bernadette Hicks.

In December, the family had the pipes in their home re-done after a leak. Until May, they hadn't seen any changes to their bill. After they got the massive bill, they contacted the city, who checked the water meter. The city said the meter was not the issue.

"They said, 'well we don't know what to tell you. What we're showing is this usage: it's over $930. Sorry, you guys have to pay,'" Central Hicks said.

The water bill shows the family used 208,400 gallons of water in a one month span. That's nearly how much water can fill a 25 yard by 10 lane swimming pool.

The family said they have met with the city, but were told they need to pay the full amount. Since May, their bills have gone back to about $100.

"Before and after, nothing. One isolated situation and it has never even been close to that again. Not even close," Central Hicks said.

"There's something here that's unexplainable. We didn't do it, they say they didn't do it. We're kind of at a stand off here," Bernadette Hicks said. "Let's be clear here. Had we used $935 with of water we would've gladly paid. We've always paid our way and that's reflected in our account."

News Channel 25 reached out to the city of Copperas Cove about the water bill. The city said: "The burden of proof rests with the homeowner to prove they didn't use the water as out meter registered the consumption. City staff assisted in every manner possible to determine a cause of high consumption and in the end were unable to identify the cause other than use."

The family set up a payment plan with the city to pay off the bill.

Copyright 2016 KXXV. All rights reserved.

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