OAKDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Homeowners in Suffolk County are in shock after receiving water bills that they say are extremely high.

Rick Hoenig, of Selden, wonders if his electronic water meter is transmitting an inaccurate reading.

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“The bill was almost $400. I was like ‘wow!'”

As CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, that bill shows the Hoenig family used 85,000 more gallons of water during June, July and August than they did last summer.

“It’s about four times the amount of what’s in my pool,” Hoenig said.

But the homeowner said he never drained his swimming pool, didn’t water the shrubs and lawn excessively, nor did he use more for cooking and bathing.

“I called them yesterday, they said check your sprinkler system, check your toilet bowls. I said if my sprinkler was leaking my house would have been under water, I would have had a sinkhole,” Hoenig said.

And it appears Hoenig is not alone after he discovered like-minded homeowners in multiple Suffolk communities blasting their water bills with an explosion of complaints on social media.

CBS 2 fielded complaints from Stony Brook, Selden, Setauket, Smithtown and Coram, McLogan reported.

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“My own water doubled from this point last year. I have not increased the usage of my water, in fact I’ve decreased it,” said Stony Brook homeowner Thomas Ryan. “My neighbor across the street had his water bill go up 3 times, 300 percent. No one really understands it. It’s become an issue in the community.”

Suffolk County’s water authority, however, said there have been no major changes to its automated measuring system.

“We totally stand by the accuracy of the meters,” said Janice Tinsley, with Suffolk County Water Authority. “Please feel free to call us. We will go through the history of their consumption with them.”

The Murphy family in Selden said the authority was courteous and happy to come out and review their usage.

“I mean there’s two seniors here, no pool and I wanted to know exactly what we had last year. So I don’t want to prejudge them until I have the facts,” Sheila Murphy said.

The water authority said most likely the homeowners have service line or internal plumbing leaks and will have to have them repaired professionally, McLogan reported.

The authority added that homeowners are responsible for any repairs.

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