WEST FARGO, ND (Valley News Live) — A West Fargo man is urging homeowners to pay close attention to your water meters after saying an unnoticed leak drove his water bill to more than $2,000 last month.
Three months after they moved into their new home near Brooks Harbor Elementary School, Neondon Play says he was slapped with a water bill that showed he and his young family used more than 280,000 gallons of water in December alone.
“This is ridiculous, you know?” Blay said.
In October the Play bill was $56, while the November bill was $156. Bly’s bill for December is only pennies under $2,500, which really got Bly into a panic.
“That’s a lot of money. That’s more than our mortgage. If this happens again once or twice, we might have to move. Maybe even this time we might have to consider moving because we can’t pay $2,500 in water bills,” he said.
Blay says the city of West Fargo found his meter showed some type of water leakage for about eight days in December before the problem itself was fixed, something city officials say happens more often than you think.
“For example, if there’s something like a toilet flap that is leaking and they happen to use that and reset it, it will stop,” said Jim Larson, West Fargo’s chief financial officer. Most leaks are from the toilet or water softener, Larson says.
However, Larson says unexpectedly high bills soon won’t leave neighbors stunned thanks to the new water meters that he says are “basically flawless.”
“We went from readings that were once a month to literally hourly readings,” Larson said.
By spring, West Fargo homeowners will be able to sign up online to be notified by text or email when their water meter starts getting a high reading almost immediately as it happens, Larson says. Bly says the new program could have saved him and his family by the thousands, and he says he hopes to prevent others from getting into trouble like him.
“I hope no one else will pay that kind of bill,” Bly said.
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