A Florissant woman is frustrated after she says her water bill went up 2400% in one month. And because she did not pay it, her water has since been cut off.
Tina Younger, who has been living in her home for nearly three years, said her water bill is typically less than $100. She said she couldn't believe it when she received her June water bill from Missouri American Water for $2517.87.
“I felt like oh my goodness, how am I going to deal with this,” she said. “I was shocked.”
Last week, the company cut her water off and Younger said they were unwilling to work with. She said the company told her the cause of it was potentially due to a leak and that she should call a plumber. When she did, Younger said, they were unwilling to turn the water back on so the plumber could check for leaks.
Younger has been relying on friends and family since her water was shut off. She said she has been filling up buckets of store bought water to use for cleaning and cooking. Younger said the past week has been devastating.
“I never imagined I would have to go through this,” she said. “I work hard. I pay my bills. I watch my spending and for me to receive this outrageous bill. It came to a shock for me.”
Five On Your Side reached out to Missouri American Water to get answers as to why Younger’s bill increased as much as it did. External Affairs Manager Brian Russell said he is unaware that the company has been unwilling to work with younger. He said that's not like the company. Russell went on to say that she likely does have a leak. That's the only way her bill can get that high. If that's the case, he said, she will not have to pay the $2500.
“We can also look on our end to see what is the history on this address has it been consistently high,” he said. “Was it a one-time spike that would indicate a leak of some sort? If she finds a one-time spike and if she gets it fixed, we can credit her own account so she only pays the average of what her previous bills have been so all that spike comes off her bill basically,” Russell said.
Russell said there could also be a compromised service line that’s positioned underground. If that’s the case, he said St. Louis County will pay for the repair. Russell advises people to check their faucets, toilets and other water sources to see if they are running because that can make your bill higher.
The company never wants to cut someone's water off, Russell said. He said they are willing to work with Younger. Russell added he will be looking into her information on Monday to see what the problem exactly is.