Conduct an open, independent audit of the City of Falls Church water billings
  • Petitioning Mr. Wyatt Shields
  • Responded

This petition will be delivered to:

City Manager, City of Falls Church
Mr. Wyatt Shields
See response
through the City Clerk
cc: Falls Church City Council Members
Vice Mayor, City of Falls Church
David Snyder
City Council Member
Nadr Baroukh
City Council Member
Marybeth Connelly
City Council Member
Phil Duncan
City Council Member
Karen Oliver
City Council Member
Dan Sze
Mayor, City of Falls Church
David Tarter (Mayor, City of Falls Church)

Conduct an open, independent audit of the City of Falls Church water billings

    1. Petition by

      Concerned Resident

      Falls Church, VA

A number of Falls Church City residents recently have received water bills that are substantially higher than normal.  Many have complained to City staff and officials and have been brushed off with unjustified and unsupported explanations.

This petition :

(1) summarizes the initial public comments;

(2) recounts the City's inadequate approach to the abnormal usage problem;

(3) rebuts the City's principal explanations; and

(4) outlines an approach by which the City can employ its own data to determine the extent of the problem and focus a more detailed investigation.

The City should use a small amount of the millions of dollars gained from its sale of its water utility to fund an independent and open audit of Falls Church’s water accounts to address citizens’ concerns.  This is required to restore City credibility on this issue.


Recent signatures


    1. Six Months and Still No Water Audit

      Concerned Resident
      Petition Organizer

      Some of you, hopefully many, may have wondered what happened to the water system audit promised by the City of Falls Church on January 30 in response to this petition. It has not happened.

      A four-member Liaison Committee has been attempting for almost 6 months to work with the City to accomplish an audit that is responsive to the requirements of the petition. The City has confounded us at every step. You have not heard from us because we have not wanted to bore you with frequent updates on the City's non-action.

      We are in the process of finalizing a chronology of the sorry history of the City's broken promise. It will include our limited ad-hoc findings to date; they point to systemic errors in the City's water billing system. Look for it soon.

      (Please address individual emails to


      Concerned Resident
      Petition Organizer

      We believe this is an important first step that justifies that attention that over 150 of you have devoted to this issue. While the evaluation the City Manager proposes seems to be narrower in scope than your petition proposes, that may just be a semantic problem. A key point is that it must be conducted in as open a forum as possible and incorporate citizen input. We made that point in our reply via email to Mr. Shields and the City Council Members. It is included as the first comment below his response posted here.

      Our initial attempts to arrange a planning meeting between a small citizens' oversight committee and the City Manager have met with utter silence from the City.

      Stay tuned.

    3. Decision-maker Mr. Wyatt Shields responds:

      Mr. Wyatt Shields

      Dear Falls Church Water Customers:

      I have received your petition calling for an audit of Falls Church Water billings. The City is taking two approaches to help answer the questions that have been raised about the water bills issued in ...

    4. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Dale Eager FALLS CHURCH, VA
      • 5 months ago

      Charged City Water Utility Tax but I'm not a City Resident! Winter Quarter Consumption 3K higher than previous three quarters!

    • Ted Kidane FALLS CHURCH, VA
      • 6 months ago

      I have received a bill for a usage of 523,000 gallons of water between 9/20/2013 and 01/03/2014 for unoccupied house.

    • Tom McCready FALLS CHURCH, VA
      • 7 months ago

      The high water bills could be subsidizing operations of the city government. Also the commission which regulates utilities in Virginia is ineffective

    • Michael McDonold WOODBURY, CT
      • 8 months ago

      City governments must be honest and forthright with their citizens. Water usage is becoming a major issue in many areas of the country, and this will only get worse as populations increase and clean water supplies fail to keep up with demand.

    • Elizabeth Murray MCLEAN, VA
      • 8 months ago

      My bill shows 83,000 (yes, thousand) gallons used. Truly seems impossible: plumbers have confirmed no leaks in the house.


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