COPPERAS COVE, Texas — A military family of five moved to Copperas Cove in June, and in five months, their water meter said they used 413,000 gallons.
The first bill the Haisma family received from Fathom in July came from a meter starting with the number 529. The meter's original read for June said 3,748 gallons of water had been used. At the end of the period in July, the number remained the same.
The next bill covering the month of August came from the same meter and said the family used a little over 500 gallons, but for that same month the family received another bill. This time it was from a meter starting with the number 372.
It said the original meter read for the family's water use was over 108,000 gallons. The bill said that over the course of August they used more than 124,000 gallons of water, and they owed more than $1,000.
"We just were waiting for our bills to come in and then as soon as we saw the first couple bills, we were just in shock," Theresa Haisma said.
The family decided to pay the first bill, thinking it was because of a sprinkler system. They turned off the system, but the bills kept coming. The family reached out to Fathom and they said a representative from the company told them that they probably have a leak. The family said the builder disagreed after looking at the home.
"If there was a leak we would see it, especially if we are talking thousands of gallons," Haisma said.
KCEN tested the family's meter and everything seemed to be in order, except for the overall number. The meter read, that within five months, the family used over 413,000 gallons of water. The family has been notified that their case is under investigation.
KCEN reached out to the city for clarification on the issues and was sent an email.
The email said in part, "The city, in coordination with Fathom, is aware of and currently investigating the concerns with the customer," said Kevin Keller with the city of Copperas Cove.
The city said the reason the meter number changed is because it replaced the original meter at the house with a different meter.