Woman dumbfounded by 100,000 gallon SAWS bill

SAWS investigates water usage

SAN ANTONIO – Sandra Goodwin had never seen anything quite like her latest SAWS bill.

Roughly $1,000 for 100,000 gallons of water, all apparently used in one month.

“In the 13 years that I’ve lived here, I’ve never paid anything over $300,” Goodwin said. “And that's even with a leak.”

Goodwin called a plumber, but no leaks were found this time around. She drained the pool at her North Side home earlier this year and had a higher-than-normal, but expected, bill that month.

Goodwin said she turned off her sprinkler system in December.

She called SAWS -- even visited the SAWS office in person -- but couldn't find a resolution. So she contacted the KSAT-12 Defenders.

SAWS told us the usage doesn’t make much sense to them either.

“We've verified that our meter is correct,” said Anne Hayden, SAWS communications manager. “What happened to the water, we can't say.”

The utility maintains 100,000 gallons of water was used at Goodwin's home last month.

But how isn't clear -- so SAWS will now do a free conservation check to find out.

“We want to go out to her place again to again check the sprinkler system, check for leaks, check and see what's going on to see what we can try to do to make sure this doesn't happen to her again,” Hayden said.

SAWS also reduced Goodwin's bill.

She was still charged for using 100,000 gallons of water, but at a lower rate.

So that $1,000 bill is now down to less than $300.

“Thank God, I don’t have the autopay, because that would have thrown everything else out of whack,” Goodwin said.

People interested in a free conservation check at their home, a check for leaks or problems with sprinklers or other water systems can call SAWS at 210-704-SAVE.

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