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Port St. Lucie resident receives excessive water bill; neighborhood has seen high bills for years

Posted at 10:56 PM, Jul 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-04 06:57:00-04

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.  — A costly water bill in a Port St. Lucie community has some saying "not again."

The bill is so costly, one homeowner says it’s impossible she used as much water as her bill claims.

She’s still trying to figure out how to prove that she did not use the water she was billed for and find the source of her water woes.

Linda Krombs lives in the Spanish Lakes community in Port St. Lucie, east of US 1.

On a day to day basis, she says she doesn’t use too much water.

She showers and rinses off dishes in the sink. She rarely uses her dishwasher, as she lives alone, and doesn’t use her washing machine.

She has one working bathroom.

As a result, she says her bills quarterly bills are typically low. One earlier this year was just $22.

Spanish Lakes Utilities called her to warn her the bill she would receive at the end of June would be shocking.

"I nearly had a heart attack. $800 plus,” Krombs said.

The bill was $832, saying she used 43,000 gallons.

“I was like, 'It’s impossible to use 43,000 gallons of water like that,'” Krombs said.

She said that would be the same as filling her bathtub 6 times a day for the three month period.

She said her utility company told her to check for leaks, but she can not find any.

Krombs knows what a leak could do to her bill. She has had one in the past from a leaky toilet, which ran almost constantly for about 6 months. “I couldn’t afford to fix it so it just kept running.”

Even then, her bill did not exceed a couple of hundred dollars.

This isn’t the first time residents in the Spanish Lakes community have been handed some exorbitant water bills.

In 2016, WPTV learned at least eight residents received unusually high bills in the Spanish Lakes Riverfront community, west of US 1. Some exceeded $1,000. One exceeded $3,500.

The majority of the homes are manufactured homes without swimming pools, without large yards, and with only a couple bathrooms. None were living with large families.

Krombs is now keeping an eye on her meter, and hopeful her next bill will go back down to an affordable rate.

She is on a fixed income and trying to figure out how she will afford the $832 bill.

“It went through the meter, and because it was registered on the meter, I have to pay.”

A representative from Spanish Lakes told WPTV it is not uncommon for some of the older homes to have issues with their meters, or for some homeowners to occasionally get higher bills.

They said anyone concerned about their bills should keep a close eye on their monitor.

They should contact police if they suspect someone is stealing their water.