‘That’s more than our mortgage.’: Sneaky leak leaves WF family with expensive water bill

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 5:52 PM CST
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WEST FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - A West Fargo man is urging homeowners to pay close attention to your water meters after he says an unnoticed leak racked his water bill up to over $2,000 last month.

Three months after moving into their new home near Brooks Harbor Elementary, Nyondon Blay says he was slapped with a water bill that showed he and his young family used over 280,000 gallons of water in December alone.

“That’s ridiculous, you know?” Blay said.

In October, Blay’s bill was $56, while November was $156. Blay’s December bill is just pennies short of $2,500, which has Blay already in a panic.

“That’s a lot of money. That’s more than our mortgage. If this happens again one or two times, we might have to move. Maybe even this time we might have to think about moving because we can’t afford to pay $2,500 in water bills,” he said.

Blay says the City of West Fargo found his meter showed there was some sort of water leak for around eight days in December before the problem fixed itself, which is something city officials say happens more often than you’d think.

“For example, if it’s something like a toilet flap that is leaking and they happen to use that and it resets it would stop,” Jim Larson, West Fargo’s Finance Director said. Larson says most leaks are caused by a toilet or water softener.

However, Larson says soon unexpected high bills won’t leave neighbors stunned thanks to new water meters he says are ‘basically flawless.’

“We moved from readings that were once a month to readings that are literally by the hour,” Larson said.

Larson says by the spring, homeowners in West Fargo will be able to register online to be notified by text or email when their water meter starts getting a high reading almost immediately as it happens. Blay says the new program could have saved him and his family thousands, and says he hopes it will prevent others from ending up in a bind like his.

“I hope no one else is paying this kind of bill,” Blay said.

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