Local News

Water Bill Woes Leave Holly Springs Family High & Dry

Posted October 27, 1998 6:00 a.m. EST

— You may not be able to fight city hall and in Holly Springs, one man says you can't fight the water company either.

His water bill quadrupled. He can't explain it, can't pay it, and now he and his family are high and dry.

Wade Prince, Jr. says his family doesn't use an extraordinary amount of water. But the meter in front of his house says otherwise and his water bills have gone through the roof.

He's checked for leaks, and so has the town of Holly Springs, and so far, there are no easy answers.

Prince and his family no longer have running water in their home. They're using bottled water to wash the dishes and bathe.

Holly Springs has cut off their service because Prince has fallen behind on his water bills, which have jumped to five times what they were just a few months ago.

"They're overcharging me for my water bill and don't make no sense," says Prince. "[It's] supposed to be $40 or $41 a month. That's usually the highest it gets. Then it gets ridiculous. Now it's about $200."

Both the town and Prince have checked for leaks and found nothing. Still, Prince can't figure out how his monthly consumption gushed to more than 20,000 gallons -- three times what a typical home uses and much more than he can afford.

"Ain't no pools around here, no nothing, no water in my yard no where," says Prince. "That's even higher than my lot rent."

In response to Prince's pleas for help, Holly Springs has removed Prince's meter to make sure it's properly calibrated. Still, the town's public works supervisor says most complaints are from people who just aren't watching how much water they use.

"If you've got one family, one of the kids leaves the water on or uses more than they should, like I say you don't know how conservative anybody is, so it will definitely affect your bill," says David Summers.

If you see a big jump in your water bill, here are a few troubleshooting tips:

  • Check for leaks or drips in sinks, showers, and toilets.
  • Make sure your toilet isn't constantly refilling. That'll make your water bill go up fast!
  • Re-examine your water use habits. Do you brush your teeth or wash the dishes with the water running?Even these tips didn't help Wade Prince. He's going to go back to the drawing board and try to figure out if someone in his home is using too much water.