Neighbors say water bill has doubled following Lincoln County rate increase

What would you do if your water bill doubled, without any explanation?  That's what happened to more than 100 homeowners who live near Lake Norman on the Catawba and Lincoln County line.

When Mary Kunze turned on her faucet, she never imagined getting a $583 water bill one month later.

"I was shocked. I thought maybe I haven't made the last payment when I saw it was double what it should be. The first thing I did was get on the phone and call Lincoln County,” said Kunze.

Kunze lives off Sagittarius Street Catawba County, but she gets her water from Lincoln County because she lives only feet from the county line.

Lincoln county approved a five percent water increase for in county water customers. Documents show out of county customers would see "double volumetric rates."

For Mary that meant a 50 percent increase.

"They put it on their website and they put it in a paper that our county doesn't get delivered. So we were extremely blindsided,” said Kunze.

It's literally money down the drain, so neighbors have asked for assistance from their county representative.

"I would hope they can reverse this 50 percent increase and give us an equitable increase,” said Kunze.

The goal is some sort of solution before another increase that is expected in July.

"We have elderly families in our neighborhood that can't afford this. This one was difficult, but the next increase is going to be really hard for them,” said Kunze.

State law allows for a different water increase for out of county water customers.

Lincoln County leaders say the area is growing quickly and water infrastructure needs improvement.

Neighbors who live out of the county tell FOX 46 Charlotte that wells are not an option, so county water is their only source.