Kent County residents, legislators demand answers for spike in water bills

West Bay

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Residents in Kent County are speaking out after a spike in their recent water bills.

Secretary of Centerville Condos Catherine Dichiaro says she almost fell out of her chair when she saw a 500% increase in their water bill. The bill cycle in question dating from August through October of this year.

“It went from $600 to $3,600, plus the $500 assessment for the two fire hydrants,” Dichiaro said.

Dichaiaro moved into the Warwick condo in January. She said she contacted the Kent County Water Authority for answers, but they told her if she didn’t pay, the condo association’s water would be turned off.

“They told us we either had a leak, or it was the summer months, or it was the meter,” Dichaiaro said. “It is almost inconceivable that this bill went up 500%.”

Dichairo is not the only one affected, Senator Leonidas Raptakis along with other Kent County lawmakers say they’ve heard from numerous constituents including people in Coventry, West Greenwich, Scituate, Warwick and Cranston with the same issue.

“Kent County Water Authority keeps blaming the customer, the rate payer saying you have a leak, you use too much water during COVID,” Raptakis said.

He added that the Water Authority has only sent out one-third of their third quarter bills, and says this problem will explode when everyone else is charged.

“Customer service is absolutely number one poor, they blame the rate payer and they don’t take the blame to say maybe it’s an internal issue, maybe we have a problem with the meter,” Raptakis said. “We are going to wait and see, if not General Assembly is going to be going back in January.”

Raptakis says anyone affected needs to dispute the bill.

12 News reached out to the Kent County Water Authority for comment, but have not heard back.

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