N4T Investigators: Meter Mysteries - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

N4T Investigators: Meter Mysteries

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How can a new house, one with no running water, rack up a massive water bill.

That's the question Chris Rechlin wants Tucson Water to answer.

"It's impossible. This is a vacant home. Nobody has ever lived in it. It's brand new construction," said Rechlin.

Rechlin says that last month he got a $1251 water bill, for using nearly 80,000 gallons of water.

An inspection found no leaks, and when Rechlin called Tucson water about the bill he says he was told that maybe someone stole it.

"Nobody is stealing water, nobody is using water. There is not a toilet that is overflowing in here. The meters are wrong," said Rechlin.

Rechlin isn't the only one to get a massive October water bill.

Eric Weiss says he got a $300 bill after his water use suddenly jumped by more than 20,000 gallons.

"There is no sign of that water ever being used. So I'm convinced that something happened to cause that meter to jump," said Weiss.

"Maybe it shorted out briefly or something I don't know. But there's no way I used that water,"

So could something be going wrong with Weiss and Rechlin's meters?

News 4 Tucson Investigator Nick VinZant went to Tucson Water to find out.

Spokesperson Fernando Molina says that while meter malfunctions are possible. There's been less than 5 documented cases in the last 20 years.

"There is always that chance that the meter is over-registering but it is extremely rare. And by and large meters tend to under-register," said Molina.

An audit of Rechlin's water bill has been scheduled for next week.

Molina says that if you believe your meter is malfunctioning you can get it tested for around $110.

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