Who pays for water leak in public park?
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Action News hears from viewers all the time who are upset about high water bills.
And often, you're told a leak is the culprit. But what happens when the water leak is on public property and who pays for it?
A local resident asked Darcy Spears to investigate.
Most of the time, you don't know you have a leaky pipe until you get drenched by the dollar figure on your water bill.
But Annoula Wylderich had no trouble finding this one at Paradise Park on Friday night.
"I was walking my dog and it was so dark we couldn't see anything but we heard water dripping, or gushing actually."
She called park police to report the problem that was on county park property.
"After I had done that, I thought I did my job and it would be taken care of and followed up on."
But days later, it hadn't been taken care of, so Annoula emailed Contact 13 and asked us to investigate.
Neighbors say it's been leaking like this for at least four days, and as if the water waste isn't bad enough, it's right next to some energized electrical equipment.
"I think that if we are going to be constantly asked to conserve our natural resources and we're going to be constantly asked for more money to support our town, then those doing the asking should be responsible," says Annoula.
We spoke to the county and they say Park Maintenance did follow-up on Annoula's complaint, but they couldn't find the leak.
And they obviously never came back to check again.
We had no trouble finding it. And the ground was saturated so it's hard to tell what part of this park police missed.
But, that's their story and they're sticking to it.
"It aggravates me because I thought I was being a responsible citizen, as I think most people would be. And like anyone else, I don't want to see my tax dollars wasted. This is totally uncalled for. This should have been taken care of days ago."
Turns out it's the Water District's job to fix this.
There's a sticker on the pipe with a phone number, but it's impossible to read without a zoom lens since the pipes are in a locked cage.
"We look at these every year and it just so happened that we were in between visits on this one," says J.C. Davis of the Las Vegas Valley Water District.
The Water District knew nothing about the leak until Contact 13 called them.
They sent someone out right away.
Davis showed us a little "o" ring, the culprit of the leak.
It has a pretty big job to do and the Water District is glad it didn't become a bigger problem.
"This is designed to keep water from flowing the wrong way through the system, if you will," Davis explains. "It's called a back-flow prevention because you don't want water moving back and forth, you want to keep it in one direction."
Davis says the leak probably amounted to about a hot tub full of water.
"We at Action News hear from homeowners all the time about their water bills skyrocketing because they have a leak. What is this leak gonna mean to the taxpayers' water bill?" Contact 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears asked.
"It won't mean anything to their water bill," Davis answered. "Unaccounted for water from leaks or main breaks or those kind of things are sort of built in to all systems."
He says system loss isn't charged to customers, but in reality, we're all paying for it in all the extra charges every time we pay our monthly water bill.
"I don't like to see my money wasted," says Annoula. "I paid for it. That's the bottom line. We all paid for it."
If you're like Annoula and you think your complaint is falling on deaf ears, contact us here at Action News.
We helped to get that water leak fixed within hours and we just might be able to help you, too.
If you've got something you'd like us to investigate, email firstname.lastname@example.org.