Johnson City’s public services explains high water bills

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JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) — Viewers in Johnson City and Binghamton reached out to 12 News about abnormally high water bills. Now, Johnson City’s director of public services has responded with a few reasons why some peoples’ quarterly water, sewage and refuse bills might seem higher than normal.

We are still waiting to hear back from the Binghamton Water Department.

Robert Bennett, director of public services, said the village raised water, sewage and refuses rates in June.

“A minimum bill went from $136 a quarter to $160 dollars a quarter,” Bennett said.

On average, Johnson City residents’ bills went up about 17%.

Bennett said if you suspect you may have a leak, check your toilet first.

“Toilets typically are the culprit of a large water bill,” Bennett said, “if it just has a small leak, it can add up to a lot of water being used because water’s being used to fill that tank back up continuous.”

Bennett said if you have a high water bill, then the water department will read your meter. If the meter indicates unusually high usage of water, Bennett suggests calling a plumber to locate the leak.

However, a high water bill isn’t always due to a leak.

“That’s why I don’t like to use the word, ‘you have a leak’ because we don’t know what the customer’s daily living habits are,” Bennett said.

He said filling pools, watering flowers or even having guests in your home could add up quickly.

Bennett recommends people track their water meter on a regular basis to stay on top of usage.

Grace Gagnon

Grace Gagnon

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