Crowds swarmed the Rancho Bernardo library Monday night to confront city officials about spiking water bills.
NBC 7 Responds found that thousands of residents face sky-high water bills after rates began soaring in July 2017.
Caryn Cooper was among the 100 people who packed the library to ask the Public Utilities Department about what they’re doing to remedy exorbitant bills.
She helps a friend living on a fixed income whose bill increased by nearly $200.
“Right now it can affect her medication," Cooper said. "It affects your quality of life."
Officials with the Public Utilities Department said they now spot check meter readers to make sure they're correct, reducing the number of estimated meter reads and notifying customers if their meter has been read or not by leaving hangers on the door.
“They need to fix the problem. They need to explain to the public, " said Scott Salcido, whose parents saw a $500 spike in their water bill.
To help remedy the problem, customer service representatives were also at Monday’s meeting to answer questions and review people's accounts.
“They were really extremely helpful,” said Cooper who sat down with a representative.
She learned that her friend may soon get some financial relief.
“They did admit it was a human error mistake. It was one particular person. That’s unfortunate because it caused a lot of problems for a lot of people,” said Cooper.
The Public Utilities Department said it's waiving the meter testing fee if you call in and dispute your bill. They've also started to automatically review customer’s accounts to fix any price irregularities.
“We know we’ve made some mistakes and we want to correct those mistakes," said Brent Eidson, Deputy Director of External Affairs for the Public Utilities Department. "Some of those mistakes are misreads, intentional or unintentional."