We are not alone

We are writing in response to the article ‘$2,300.00 water bill ‘bloody crazy’,’ on Friday 20 February 2009.

Although we are not pleased to know that someone else is having problems, we are glad to know that we are not alone.

We live on one side of a two-bedroom two bath duplex in Pease Bay. We were off island for several months and returned to Cayman on 2 October, 2008. We had lived in our unit for more than two years prior to our leaving the Island. Our bills averaged $40 – $45 per month during that time. Our bill issued on 30 September, 2008 was $22.69, which was appropriate.

Our next bill issued 31 October, 2008, was $112.87. Although this bill seemed extremely high, we assumed it was because we had power washed our deck. However, it isn’t a large deck.

On 20 November, 2008, we again left the Island. We returned on 7 January, 2009. We had paid the October bill and left an extra $62.13 to cover the November bill. We planned to be back in time to pay the December bill. Imagine our surprise upon returning to Cayman and learning that our November bill was $163.89 and our December bill was $458.61!

We also checked the dates of the water usage, and we are now quite sure we power washed our deck sometime during the November bill, not the October bill. We then contacted the Water Authority. They checked the meter and it was still running high. They then checked and said there were no leaks. Our meter is being tested off island.

What now concerns us is that after the Water Authority checked our meter, it seemed to return to normal. Our January bill was still too high, but nothing compared to the December bill. The January bill was $127.42.

We have been treated with respect by customer service at the Water Authority. They appear to believe us and to be aware that we did not use the amount of water the meter showed. However, we have been upset and stressed that we will be held responsible for the water usage. It also seems they expect the meter to be returned stating it is functioning normally. Although our bill isn’t $2,300, it certainly is much too high for us to afford to pay for water we did not use.

We both feel helpless in this situation, and we are glad to know we aren’t alone. We have been afraid the Water Authority may very well say they are the authority and we owe this bill, whether or not we used the water and whether or not we were even in Cayman!

Wayne & Karen Oldenburger

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