SAN CLEMENTE (CBS)  — In his 90 years, Rod McChesney has never seen anything like it.

The World War II fighter pilot said his water bill was nearly $800.

“One-third of my monthly income is for my water bill — that’s not normal,” McChesney said.

water bill $800 Bill Has San Clemente Resident Wondering Where Extra 80,000 Gallons Of Water Went

(credit: CBS)

According to his calculations, McChesney would have to use 80,000 gallons more than his average usage over the span of a month to rack up that total.

“Being on a fixed income and not a wealthy man, I am very aware of what water costs,” McChesney said.

The San Clemente resident said the water company tested his meter and found nothing wrong.

He said he’s owned his home for 49 years. Everyday, he said he collects extra shower water in this bucket and uses it in his garden.

McChesney also has low-flow toilets, shut-off valves and promptly fixed the only leak he was aware he had.

“There’s no way 83,000 gallons could come out of that in one month,” he said about the leak.

The disgruntled resident said his average bill runs approximately $50-$60.

rod mcchesney $800 Bill Has San Clemente Resident Wondering Where Extra 80,000 Gallons Of Water Went

(credit: CBS)

So, where is the water going?

McChesney surmises that even if someone were stealing the water from his front yard they’d have to fill up a 250-gallon water tank 335 times to take off with the 83,000 gallons of water on his bill.

“Somebody’s made a mistake somewhere and I don’t think it’s me,” McChesney said.

McChesney informed KCAL9 News Tuesday that after this story ran his water company contacted the San Clemente resident and reversed his bill.

Comments (18)
  1. Ed says:

    Any leak can run up your water bill. I should suggest turning off your water @ night to see if you usage have gone down.

    1. Maria Carpenter says:

      I was billed for 380,000 gallons of water in a 35-day period by Ventura Water Department. That’s more than 10,000 gallons per day on average! The first bill was $3400.00. They reduced the rate I was charged after their inspector could find no evidence that this ever happened, but still want me to pay for all 380,000 gallons — $1296.00 for the month of September. This is impossible. My house would be underwater. The supervisor says it was an “anomaly” and I am responsible for the charges.

  2. Tanya Perez says:

    my name is tanya. i was watching the news, and i noticed what a terrible thing that happened to this poor man. my family and i know exactly how it feels because it happened to us aswell, but in our situation it happened with sanitation. Sanitation charged my mom double because they thought we lived in a duplix. my mom called for 2 years to different people, untill the field investigator had to come and clear it to a one family home. But sanitation never payed back the extra we had to pay for 10 years. we struggled so much to figure out how to pay the bill. we even sold our washer and dryer, thinking it was the energy and water. i would feel very guilty when the bill would arrive, but i knew we were conserving as much water as we could. Sanitation never sent an apology letter nor payed us back, we have been ignored till’ this day and we would like to be heard and helped with this situation. -thank you

  3. mo says:

    the LADWP has literally ruined my parents’ lives, their irresponsibility, thievery bullying tactics, and judge payoffs has driven one of them almost to suicide. home now in foreclosure, filed bk last month. yes, all because of the DWP. and their carelessness in street repairs that caused everything that was plugged into the wall to be completely destroyed and they wont pay us back for the damage they caused. 3 stereos, game consoles, 4 pc’s, 5 tv’s, every light and outlet fried and more. sadly their monopoly gives us no choice of who we want service from. they practically live in the dark, and its freezing in there also installed solar to try to alleviate some of the $2500 bills they keep getting, but the bills keep going up. DWP has no explanation (or sympathy and its obvious they couldn’t care less if they tried), only threats to turn off service on seniors who they KNOW they are deliberately cheating. what can you do??

  4. Seraphim01 says:

    Because water reclaimation costs absolutely nothing. Get a clue.

  5. Russell Benson says:

    Folks, the easiest way to check for a leak is to make sure nothing in your home is running and go to the meter and look at the little red dial that is on most meters. The slightest drip will cause that little dial to spin and therefore indicating a possible leak. I highly doubt this poor man had a leak so a mistake was made by the city and they should fix it right away and apologize. I wish they would let us have wells so we could avoid the scam that is our water bill.

  6. * says:

    I would be checking to see if there were any broken water mains in the vicinity – also if one all of a sudden comes up…… might be able to figure out where the water was going …..

  7. cj chan says:

    overpaying for 10 years. ouch. then to get no refund is nuts. better business bureau. it seems this water company has poor service to residents. band together to complain and check about water mains since that is the citys fault and not to be paid by customers.

  8. Peter says:

    Pay up or go to jail. You should also be required to pay a 2000% fine for trying to cheat the city.

  9. Jose V. says:

    Peter you are a JERK!

  10. john p. says:

    It’s possible that he was paying at an estimated water usage rate because no one actually read his meter for several years. When they did, the water company charged extra to make up the difference.

  11. Michael says:

    An $800 leak would be VERY noticeable. This is a mistake….or fraud. Our city was trying to get a hotel owner to annex his hotel into the city and when he refused, they started sending him $3500 water bills, as opposed to $1200 (the water department is owned by the city.)

  12. Rick Rosio says:

    Welcme to the world where corportations control access to the esscense of life water.
    How much will you pay to stay alive and have access to water.
    Why did the Caryle Group purchase Mountain Water in Missoula Mt?
    Could it be that all the francking being done by the energy industry has begun to destroy the water tables by their efforts to extract oil they are ruining the midwest and northeast water tables?
    You can live without oil, You cannot without water.

  13. Nancy says:

    We had the same thing happen to us at our house in Virginia Beach. There was no leak, no evidence of leak. The house was unoccupied for a short period, but we were there daily and would have observed any abnormalities. The water meter was zero one month and zero another month, but in between we received an inexplicable $1000 bill from the water company which also meant another high bill from sanitation department. The worker told us it must have been a “temporary leak”. Pure B.S. Fraud and corruption run rampant in Virginia Beach government. We did not use this water. No one stole the water. There was no leak. We ended up negotiating a reduced amount of about 50% the charge, but still way more than we should have paid. Unfortunately, our municipality does not have any redress – short of appearing before the corrupt council. Sad. Very sad.

  14. Robin says:

    The same thing happened to my mother in law in AZ. After her husband died she moved and put the house up for sale. NO ONE was in the house and the water bill went down to nothing. Then after 3 months it went WAY up. Then the next month back down to nothing. NO WAY this could have happened. The water co said it must be a leak. We had a repair man come check it out and he said NO LEAK. They did eventually reverse the bill but not until someone else bought the place and moved in.

  15. Jenn says:

    Really, why does everyone think an $800 leak would be noticeable. 80,000 gallons of water, used over 1 month, is about 1.5Gallons per minute. It states he admits to having a leak he has repaired, but depending on how long the leak went unnoticed, and where the leak was, this is not out of the question. To give you an idea of water usage, a shower head is considered low flow if it uses less than 4 gallons per minute! a leaky toilette could easily be passing 1.5 to 2 GPM!

    I work for a company that makes water meters, and we receive calls asking about the accuracy of our meter all the time because of things like this. People use more water than they realize.

  16. Jeffery says:

    Perhaps he left the porch light on overnight.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s