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Man battles City of Redding over high water bill

By Shay Arthur
Published On: Jan 07 2014 10:37:49 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 07 2014 11:04:12 PM CST
REDDING, Calif. -

A Redding man got sticker shock when he saw his water bill for November and December.

Tim Hoyer said he lost more than 103,000 gallons of water due to a leaky pipe.

His water bill was $271.00 when he usually pays $53.00 a month.

He said he didn't know about the leak and shouldn't be charged.

"Remember on Home Alone when the kid put his hands to his face and started yelling? That's how I felt," said Hoyer."

"Nobody expects a $271 water bill. Ever."

Hoyer said he and his wife discovered one of his water pipes had a leak after they saw the bill and they're frustrated. He said the city knew about the problem but never let him know.

"I never got a note on the door, my wife asked the city if they put one on there they said that when the tech read the meter that it was noted but the homeowner wasn't notified because of the holidays."

Hoyer fixed the pipe for about $45 to $50 dollars and the city is crediting him a small amount  -- but he wants the original $271 bill back down to his average $53.

"If I had used the water that's one thing," said Hoyer.

Redding's Assistant Director of Public Works Jon McClain said, "we can't guarantee we are going to get the message to the customer. My sincere apologies if we fail to notify a customer but it is our policy to always make an attempt."

McClain urged customers during this drought to make sure pipes, faucets and toilets aren't leaking.

Hoyer also encouraged people to check their bills.

"Check your meter when you check your mail. Just flip the lid and see if the leak indicator is going."