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Action 13 steps in to help Houston man with his $50,000 water bill


Chaz Miller Image

Thursday, October 26, 2023 9:35PM

Action 13 helps man with $50,000 water bill

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — A local high school teacher reached out to ABC13 after he received a water bill from the City of Houston for $49,250.66.

Michael Stovall started renting a home in northwest Houston in 2019 and said he quickly learned the city didn’t know where his meter was located.

He added that he and previous tenants were being charged the neighborhood average as a result.

Stovall said the city found his meter after the winter storm in February 2021, and that’s when he received a phone call from the public works department.

“The woman I talked to was acting strange,” he said of the call. “They determined I owed $18,000 in back pay.”

Stovall contested the charge but said he kept getting water bills of around $2,000 a month after that dollar amount was determined.

Those charges, plus the back pay, had the city issuing that massive bill for nearly $50,000.

“There’s no yard, there’s no pool, there’s no jacuzzi,” said Stovall. “It’s just three bedrooms and two baths.”

We reached out to the City of Houston about the issue on October 18, and earlier this week, Mike let us know they lowered the bill to $300.

He said they determined the meter was broken and adjusted the amount due accordingly.

We asked the public works department for confirmation of these details, but they never reported more than initially letting us know they were looking into the situation.

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