Long Island water bills soar

- New York American Water Company is in hot water after hundreds of complaints from ratepayers on the south shore of Long Island. 

"In the past, it had been anywhere from $50 and 100," Oceanside resident Tara Brasch said. "It was higher in the summer because of watering but not $300, not $350."

Brasch's July bill $350. At this point, the mother of three has stopped watering her grass altogether and makes sure the dishwasher is filled to capacity before running it.

"It seems like the less you use, the more you get charged, the more you use, the more you get charged," she said. "It makes no sense."

That is why residents and lawmakers held a meeting with the water company Thursday night. They're pressing the state's Public Service Commission to further investigate the sudden spike.

"The Public Service Commission are the regulators," state Sen. Todd Kaminsky said. "They need to step up and either roll these rates back or give ratepayers some other type of relief."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he is outraged by the increases. He called on the Public Service Commission to explore all options and will refer the practices to the Attorney General's Office.

"We want to stay here, we want to raise our family here," Brasch said. "These companies are making it near impossible."

A separate investigation involving American Water found that 4,500 customers on the north shore were overcharged more than $250,000.

The Nassau County Comptroller's Office is also looking into abnormal spikes on eight of its accounts. 

American Water declined an on-camera interview but said the increase is a result of new conservation rates.

"Our team will continue to investigate high bill complaints and will deploy the needed resources to ensure each customer complaint is resolved," American Water said in a statement.

But that is little consolation for Joyce Kane, a longtime customer in East Rockaway.

"I think, along with many other people, we all feel that we're at a point we want American Water Company out," she said.

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