It isn’t rocket science. It’s not even hard to comprehend. Here’s the situation:
First, by way of explanation, we are on a well. Water is pumped into our house from around 160 feet down, softened, and sent throughout the house. Since we also connected to the county sewer line 20 years ago some method had to be found to charge us a fair amount for the ‘water and other stuff’ we put down the sewer. Seven years ago our county came up with the idea of putting a water meter sin the house so they could find out how much water we were using and charge us a percentage of that for their sewer rate. The meter is installed between the water softener and the rest of the house – allowing unmetered outlets to exist for lawn watering and the like. With me so far?
Two weeks ago, we had our old water softener break a seal and push out ‘sludge’ from the resin container into our household water pipes. To get there it had to first go through our water meter, which promptly clogged up and stalled. This caused no water to flow in the house. We called the county and they sent out a technician to “check things out”. He pulled the old meter and replaced it with a new one. This one didn’t work (didn’t resister any flow) so for two weeks we went unmetered. Then, they came back and installed a meter that DID work. It’s dial was set to zero (as all new meters should be) and away we went.
Yesterday, we get a bill from the county for the use of 18,000 gallons of water,to the tune of $147. Our normal usage, according to their own records, is between 6 and 8 thousand gallons a month. We call the county and are told “well, that’s what the meter readings show”. They will not, or don’t want to, listen to any explanations of WHY the meter reading is off.
They don’t want to listen to the explanation that the difference between the old meter reading and zero is because it’s TWO DIFFERENT METERS. They think that our meter readings just “overflowed” and rotated back to zero like a car turning over 99,999.9 miles into 100,000.0 miles. But nooooo, their response was to send someone over to check and see if we have any leaks. Leaks in a well system are usually announced by the well pump running 24/7 and your water pressure fluctuating between 30 and 55 PSI wildly. You can also tell by all the water flooding the basement, kitchen, or bathroom. He arrived today (same guy as the last two times), took a look around the basement, pronounced “no leaks” and left.
Now we have to call his supervisor (who, incidentally, is also “sorta the head of billing too”) and try to explain that when you change a meter, all you have to do is chop off the reading of the old meter and ADD the meter reading from zero on the new meter. NOT, roll it all the way over and charge us for filling four swimming pools.