MOUNT VERNON — The city’s Water/Wastewater Commission is meant to provide a means of resolving disputes between customers and the city’s Water and Wastewater departments. Those are usually over the bills assessed for service.
Bills are now paid monthly, but meters are still read quarterl; so for two months, a customer pays a standard minimum charge, then when the meter is read, the bill is adjusted.
After the bills are calculated, Utilities Director Mathias Orndorf said a clerk runs a “high-low check” and bills that are out of the ordinary for an address are flagged. Usually, that is triggered if the usage is 30 percent above normal.
A card is sent to the customer notifying them of the high usage that will be reflected on the bill. Also, a meter reader goes to the residence to make sure the meter is reading correctly and will place a door hangar on the door if no one is at home.
“If the reader sees something like water running out the door, he will turn the water off,” Orndorf said.
If the high usage is due to a break in the house plumbing and the water does not go to the sanitary sewer for treatment at the wastewater plant, a credit can be given on the wastewater part of the bill, if the house’s plumbing is up to code, meaning it is made out of copper or ductile iron. If it is not up to code, no credit is issued and the customer is still responsible for the water used.