CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – One Charleston resident says she noticed a significant change in her water bill during June and July. Joye Hanna, who lives off Clements Ferry Road, says her and her neighbor’s June and July water bills doubled and in some cases tripled compared to months before.
Hanna believes nearby construction is to blame, leading to water main breaks and ultimately higher water bills.
“We’re retired on a fixed income; we feel robbed,” says Hanna.
Hanna says her and her husband’s water bill is generally $45 a month with some fluctuation. The Hannas noticed a major change in June.
“Last month it was $117 and this month it’s $118,” says Hanna.
Water bills the Hannas shared with News 2 show their water bill was $47 in March, $57 in April, $89 in May, $117 in June, and $119 in July.
The Hannas are not alone. Their subdivision has 85 homes, and Hanna says dozens of neighbors noticed a similar increase.
Some saw their water bill double, triple, or even increase more than five times Hanna says. Most neighbors believe the construction is the culprit.
Hanna contacted Charleston Water System with her concern. They told her it was likely a leak or increased water usage.
“Well let me ask you this. 71 people in our neighborhood have a leak at the same time during the same month?” says Hanna.
We took the concerns to Charleston Water System and officials told us the same, saying the higher bills are not from nearby water main breaks.
“Construction in the area, whether that’s a main break or other construction, has no ability to push more water through your meter,” says Mike Saia, Public Information Administrator for Charleston Water System.
Hanna says if it were one home, maybe two she’d consider a leak, but with more than 70 neighbors having similar increases, she says the math doesn’t add up.
Charleston Water System says a summer increase isn’t unusual.
“People are using the most water in those three months because the time — and temperatures are rising –projects are done around the home, kids are home from school, and irrigation and pools,” says Saia.
Hanna is hopeful Charleston Water System will listen and refund the overages.
“I’d be happy with a third [of the money] back,” says Hanna. “But for them to just say ‘oh well all 85 of you have a leak,’ that’s not good enough.”
Since the airing of this story, a third neighbor has provided bills to News 2 showing their water bill also increased significantly during the months of June and July.