Houston Water Department - Water Bill of $1850.78

Houston, Texas 0 comments
Not resolved

September 2012, Public Works began replacing water lines in my subdivision. On December 21st, I received a generic letter stating that I have a “constant flow”. A few days later, I received a bill for $945.28.

I contacted Public Works who filed an erroneous report. After not hearing from anyone, I contacted the Mayor’s office. They forwarded my complaint to the PW spokesperson, Joanne Papajohn. She took eight days to finally contact me. Her position is Customer Service, but the only option she ever offered was to run an hourly report. When she forwarded this report to me, she stated that she was “baffled” because there were days where no water passed through the meter. Meanwhile, I also forwarded to her a plumber’s invoice that stated the leak was not on our side. She disregarded this report.

Despite the fact that Ms. Papajohn has never been out to my property, she stated on four different occasions that it was either my swimming pool, automatic sprinkler or someone was siphoning the water. I repeatedly said this is not the case. Besides this hourly report, she failed to provide any solutions. I had to research about flow meter tests, water bench tests, administrative investigation and administrative hearing on my own. These options were never presented to me by her.

I requested an administrative hearing and had to wait seven weeks for this hearing. I had to have the Mayor’s office and my Councilperson’s office intervene on my behalf.

We arranged a water bench test and received a new meter. Since this new meter, our consumption has been between 140-330 gallons per day. If I had had a leak, my consumption would not have gone down.

Throughout this whole process, Ms. Papajohn has sent me legal correspondence with the wrong dates, year, phone numbers and salutation. I have four copies of the legal correspondence that state that my administrative hearing is scheduled March 23rd when it occurred on March 28th. As slow as PW operates, I find it difficult that the outcome of my administrative hearing was determined on March 28th. I received numerous legal documents with the outcome of this hearing that were all dated February 21st.

PW requires now that I pay sixty percent of this bill -- $1100.00. This amount is not feasible because it does include the charges for the water bench test, the administrative hearing and current charges. I need assistance to negotiate a payment plan that is more favorable.

Review about: Water Bill.

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