ADDED Tuesday Apr 3rd - 2012
Hardship for High Water Bills:
Cam - thank you for your support and any assistance you can give us will be much appreciated. Is there anyone else you would suggest we contact/any other councillors who might be interested in this? Thanks again and have a great evening.
On 2012-03-29, at 12:17 AM, <Cam.Guthrie@guelph.ca> wrote:
Thanks so much for sending this info my way. I am for the taxpayers of this community and for customer service excellence for our residents. You can count on me.
Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 11:37 PM
To: Cam Guthrie
Subject: Fwd: Excess water charges
Councillor Guthrie - my apologies, I meant to include you as well on this email. I watched Monday night's council meeting and frankly I feel the citizens and taxpayers of Guelph deserve to have a city government that is accountable. Please contact me with any questions.
Begin forwarded message:
Date: 28 March, 2012 4:23:10 PM EDT
Subject: Excess water charges
Good afternoon Councillors Laidlaw and Furfaro - I watched with interest Monday night's council meeting and I wanted to provide you with some additional information on the issue of the excess water charges for the condominium on Watson Parkway. This is not an isolated incident, my brother and I have had ongoing discussions with the water department since we received a water bill for approximately $6000 in November of last year for a property we own in Ward 5. This corresponds to a water usage of 2,400,000 litres of water - more than 60 times the normal bimonthly amount of 40,000 litres. Obviously this more than a toilet running for a couple of weeks or a tap being left on for several days as was suggested in the council meeting. In fact, we presented the water department with calculations/scenarios, which I have attached, demonstrating that this consumption of water could not be feasible. We have presented these scenarios to several master plumbers and had them vetted by a professional engineering firm; they all agree with our conclusion. Interestingly the period where it is claimed that we used this 2,400,000 litres of water is the same - April 2011 - as the condo owners. To date we have not received an adequate response from the water department on our analysis; their stance is that because the city is capable of providing that amount of water to a property, then the consumption must have occurred. $6000 is a lot of money - especially for water consumption that is very questionable as to whether it could have occurred. At this point, we are not sure what our options are but based upon the response the Watson Parkway residents received from council, we are not encouraged. These incidents of excessively high water bills point to a problem that is being swept under the rug by hiding behind the apparent infallibility of the city's water meters - resulting in real hardship for some people. I am not sure if there is anything you can do on our behalf - the councillor for our ward was downright dismissive of our analysis in the council meeting after being included in all our correspondence with the water department and having ample opportunity to verify our numbers - however I think that it is important that councillors are aware that is this not a one-off issue. Should you be interested in discussing this issue further, please feel free to contact me.