This Bay Area man's water bill suddenly skyrocketed to $1,300.  He just wants to know why

This Bay Area man’s water bill suddenly skyrocketed to $1,300. He just wants to know why

He is scrupulous about the water usage of his household of four in Berkeley. Two years ago, he insulated his home to make it more energy efficient and added drought-tolerant plants to his front yard.

This is why he was surprised to open his water bill in October to find charges more than 300% higher than what he normally pays.

“That’s ridiculous,” he remembers thinking to himself. “I don’t think we consume water excessively.”

The East Bay Municipal District said Hayashi, who lives in a single-family home with his wife and two children, used 1,614 gallons of water a day over a two-month period, a 736% increase from compared to his previous invoice.

Over the next two months, Hayashi’s shock was lessened by the Kafkaesque journey he took to protest what he insists was a mistake on EBMUD’s part. , a mistake that highlights how long some homeowners are being forced to cut excessive utility charges. It also comes at a time when, in an effort to compel residents to conserve water, EBMUD has made a habit of publicly shaming and penalizing customers for effusive water use.

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