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Somerville homeowner says water bills skyrocketed after city changed meter

Somerville residents hit with skyrocketing water bills
Somerville residents hit with skyrocketing water bills 02:11

SOMERVILLE - A Somerville homeowner is sitting on thousands of dollars in water bills. He says the prices started to skyrocket after the city changed out his meters.

Peter Catizone has four units in Somerville, and he lives in one of them. The building has paid almost $9,000 in water bills this year. In some months, a single unit had a bill of roughly $1,500. About four months ago the city changed out his water meter, and ever since then, he says his bills have been rising.

"People are moving"

"When they put the meters in it was another $2,500," said Catizone. "I mean I have heard stories of people getting bills for $40,000, $30,000, $25,000. People are moving because they can't keep up or pay their water bills."

The city says they are about 90% done changing the meters over. He was told the previous bills were an estimate, and now he is getting the true price. A city spokesperson says water bills can go up after a meter change, but typically that is only a small amount unless there is a leak. Catizone says he has had the house checked, and there are no leaks.

The city will be holding a meeting Wednesday evening to discuss water and sewer prices for 2025. Peter plans to bring his concerns to the meeting.

"To ask them why are the bills so high? which I know they are not going to be able to answer," said Catizone. "They should give more empathy to the people they are taking care of. A lot of them are on fixed income, and there is no compassion."

A spokesperson for the city encouraged anyone with a high bill to bring it forward to see if any adjustments can be made. 

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