Hidalgo County Resident Questions Unusually High Water Bills
MERCEDES – A Rio Grande Valley man said lately his water bill has been much higher than normal.
Mercedes resident Manuel Martinez is retired. He said he and his wife survive on one income and can’t afford the bill.
“Only last month and this one, they’re two altered bills; others have been normal. I’ve paid about $56. It’s too much, just think about it. They’re about $156 or $120, it almost doubled,” he said.
Martinez said the city came to evaluate the problem, deemed a possible leak, when he wasn’t home.
“When we came back – because we were in Mexico – we got here and a neighbor told us city workers were here. So, I came and checked and found out everything like this and I didn’t ask them anything because they were working. But they stopped coming and they left it like this,” he said.
Martinez said he reached out to the city to ask when they would fix the issue. He said he didn’t get an answer.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke to Mercedes interim city manager Daniel Tijerina on Tuesday.
“We’ve identified the source of the leak and speaking to our utilities director. The leak is coming from a mainline that belongs to the city, but is located inside the property of the owner,” he said.
Tijerina said he sent a team of public works employees to fix the problem on Wednesday.
Although the leak was not an issue with Martinez’s meters, Tijerina said the amount still has to be paid.
The city said they will work with Martinez to find a payment plan for his bill.
Tijerina said he recommends all citizens of Mercedes who plan on vacationing cut their water while they're out of town. He said that's a great way of ensuring the accuracy of the water meter.