Retired couple living part-time at Bear Valley Springs surprised with large water bill
Bill went from an average $120 to more than $800
Last Updated: 114 days ago
BEAR VALLEY SPRINGS, Calif. - A retired couple living only part time in Bear Valley Springs recently received a big surprise in the mail: a water bill seven times more than what they’re use to paying.
Donella Borham and her husband George are on a fix income and work hard conserving water.
“We turn the water on and turn it off as quick as we can. We never even used the dish washer and never had,” said George Borham.
So, imagine their surprise when the monthly water bill jumped from an average of $118 to more than $840.
“You know, it’s frustration and disappointing and just really not satisfied with the situation at all,” he said.
Since April, the couple has been calling the Bear Valley Community Services District and even county officials to see if maybe there was problem with the meter and most importantly how to correct their utility bill.
“I said, well what happens if I don’t pay it. He said we will cut your water off and it will cost you money to turn it back on plus you’ll have to pay up front for a few months,” said Donella Borhma.
Leaders with the Bear Valley Community Services District say their hands are tied and the only option they can offer the couple is a 12-month payment plan. There are also other area organizations that can help pay that big bill.
“We’re set up to run our water enterprise as a small business, but with that comes a lot of the governmental rules and with that we can’t wave that fee totally because then all of our other residence have to pick that up,” said Jeff Hodge, general manager with Bear Valley Community Services District.
Meters always run low, at about minus 5 percent and as it ages, it tends to read less and less. Leaders with the district say in a situation like the Borham’s, a second go-around of the home is encouraged.
“Even a quarter or half gallon a day with 1440 minutes in a day can add up to what would be one water unit which is 748 gallons and so if you’re back for another three weeks, it can add up to that quit quickly,” he said.
District leaders recommend homeowners have a stop valve to control the water heater. Also, turn off the water as a habit and that includes the toilet water.
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