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Running water runs up big bill at Lafayette house

February 22, 2013

LAFAYETTE — City officials are discussing what to do with a $19,000 utility and services bill created at least in part by a valve next to a water meter that was left open while a house was being......

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Feb-26-13 7:26 AM

If the water was mostly consumed in one month, it wouldn't have triggered any red flags until the meters were read and the bills were processed. The utility is not obligated to tell you of high usage, particularly if the billing is automated and cannot look for such things.

It doesn't matter where the bills were to be mailed to, if this happened in one month. The story doesn't tell us the time frame, but I'm quite sure if I turned on the hose bib by my meter and left it on, I could run a lot of money down the drain in a week. Ask any pool owner how much their bill goes up after filling their pool for one day out of 30.

Blame shifts back to the contractor. Your turn :)

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Feb-25-13 11:59 PM

Yes, that's all fine and well, but my wife would like to know if the contractor left the seat up?

She thinks that could be the real problem here.

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Feb-25-13 1:16 PM

I see three groups that failed in this.

1) The Contractor did leave the valve open.

2) The bank/lien holder did or may not have informed the city where to send the bill.

3) The City should have shut down services long before the $19,000 bill.

The contractor looks to be the one that least of of the other two.

I know where I live that when water usage takes a spike up, they are knocking on the door asking what's up with the water usage.

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Feb-23-13 5:10 PM

Contractors should carry liability insurance. This seems to be a no-brainer as to who should pay the bill.

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