Thoron Brown is a resident in Desert Hot Springs who claims to have paid around $175 a month for his water bill since 2016.
“I thought $175 dollars for a water is kind of high, but maybe it’s the expense for desert water,” Brown said.
In May 2018, he took a closer look to his bill and found out that he was getting charged for over 20,000 gallons of water per month. An amount that Brown said does not reflect his daily water consumption, which includes “taking a shower, doing my laundry, washing my cars, giving water to my dog and giving my dog a bath.”
He said a technician from Mission Springs Water District came in to look at his meter and found a leak.
“The guy told me then, in August, to not pay the bill,” Brown recalled. “I had a bill that was due, but he said don’t pay the bill because I’m going to credit you for the water usage you’ve been on, and I didn’t pay the water bill, so they turned the water off.”
Brown said he paid $209.62 in August after the adjustments due to the leak, but since his bill is past due, he now owes the water district $508.97. A situation that has left him without any water for the past two weeks.
“I’m going over to a friend’s house and showering and grabbing 5 gallon buckets of water to clean my house with, so it’s ridiculous,” he said.
John Soulliere works for the public affairs department at Mission Springs Water District. He said the district can not comment specifically about a customer’s account due to confidentiality clauses, but he explained what their protocol is.
“In the event of a high bill, and there’s a leak or something, we will often work with them on a payment plan, spread it over on an period of time that makes it possible for them to pay without getting disconnected,” Soulliere said. “We will also often give them a leak credit.”
Brown said he wants to seek a solution to this issue.
“I just want them to turn the water back on and give me a bill that is reasonable,” Brown said. “Enough is enough, I’m done.”
Mission Springs Water District recommends its customers to call as soon as they notice an anomaly on their bill to avoid extra charges and water cuts.