Psst, Charlotte city council. You got a ticking time bomb on your hands in the sudden ramp up in water and sewer bills in Mecklenburg County.

CMUD is somehow getting away with blaming sky-rocketing bills on consumer usage. Not for much longer. Not when monthly bills start to hit $150-200 when the spring growing season hits.

I believe CMUD has a fundamental meter-reading mistake on its hands, one it will never, ever admit to unless consumers demand that elected officials get off their cans and get tough via an independent outside audit of CMUD and its billing practices. I believe such an audit might find that CMUD is guesstimating monthly usage, not actually reading meters. That is certainly one explanation of the higher bills.

All I know is that my monthly CMUD bills are up almost 150 percent since the end of 2003.

Here’s a running two-month December-January average since then, which accounts for any accidents of shorter-longer monthly billing cycles, as well as any lawn watering, two of CMUD’s current excuses for the wild upswings in the bills they send out:

  • 2003 — $37
  • 2004 — $38.5
  • 2005 — $46
  • 2006 — $46.5
  • 2007 — $50
  • 2008 — $74.5
  • 2009 — $91.5

That’s for the same household, same capacity appliances etc. I fully expect to get a $200 water bill in July or August given current trends, which I believe CMUD will then use to baseline and “project” future usage in an ever-upward spiral.

Let’s watch city government continue to bob and weave for a few more months, with no one stepping up to take responsibility for an obvious problem.