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GM of utility company offers possible reasons your water bill is rising

Water bills rising? That could be due to several factors according to a general manager with one local utility company. PHOTO: MGN

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--Water bills rising? That could be due to several factors according to a general manager with one local utility company.

Residents in Mt. Juliet reached out to FOX 17 News this week with multiple complaints about their water bills doubling in recent months. One resident says her bill jumped from $23 to $147 for the billing cycle.

Another resident and former county commissioner, Clint Thomas, says his bill also kept increasing over the past few months until it topped $100. Like others, Thomas says he called the Gladeville Utility District which services the area and received an answer all the other residents echoed.

"I got the same old song and dance. The customer service reps said to check if there was a toilet running, if there were any leaks, and I could also pay a fee to have my meter checked," Thomas says.

Thomas says he checked for leaks and running water but found nothing. Then, his bill started to come down again. "My question is, if I did nothing different, then why is it coming down? Why was it so high in the first place? It makes no sense."

After receiving similar messages, FOX 17 News reached out to Gladeville Utility General Manager Danny Bledsoe. Mr. Bledsoe says there could be a few factors responsible for changes Thomas and others are experiencing.

"On thing is certain areas of the district are still on old meters. Those meters are being replaced and now reading usage accurately," Bledsoe says. "One thing about old meters people may not realize is they always under-read, they almost never over-read use."

It's likely more people in the Gladeville district will see increases in the coming years. Bledsoe says so far, 25% of old meters have been replaced and they will continue replacing meters until the whole district is using the new meters, a process which will take a few more years.

In addition to the meters, Beldsoe says customers should also check billing cycles. "Another possibility is the number of days in the billing cycle they are being billed for could cause a fluctuation." Bledsoe says the utility "tries for a 30-32 day billing cycle but sometimes there could be up to 45 days on a cycle."

Bledsoe says that normally isn't the case, but it is possible based on weather impacts and other unforeseen issues. He adds customers should also be cognizant they are paying for cycles 30-40 days before the actual bill's due date. "A bill that is due for October tenth is actually a billing cycle through the month of August."

If the meter is correct and the billing cycle is correct, Bledsoe says it's always possible there is a leak, a hose was left on or a toilet is running.

For customers like Thomas, the frustration remains. "Sure, they can check a meter but you have to pay a fee. You're at the mercy of the utility, there are no other options."

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