Thursday, August 16, 2012

Getting hosed by DEP water bills

Hello Public Advocate,

I've been appealing a water bill that is simply wrong. We've had multiple plumbers submit the proper documentation clearing the property of leaks (they would have to be large, obvious, pooling leaks to make 2 different $20k+ monthly charges, mind you, as we do not an industrial property but 3-story 15-ft wide storefront with 2 apts overhead) to the water department but to no avail. We have replaced all toilets to low-water usage and installed special low-flow fixtures.

I understand that the automatic water meters have had problems in other cities, according the the Public Advocate himself. I imagine many people have this problem but with the DEP or Water Board threatening either cutoff or liens against their businesses or homes, many simply concede to the DEP or Water Board's "forgiveness" of the charges. I wonder what is it that we the payers should be forgived for, first, and second, how would they not enter a collection process if the charges were true?

That said, I understand that your department had a "public hearing" on August 9th - I understand this only because I googled it and saw a NY Times article, not because the event was well-announced - and that it was attended by only nine people. I wonder what the real number of misreported water usage is and I wonder what legal action it would take to recoup what's been lost.

Photo from the NY Times


Anonymous said...

Water Bill = Tax

Anonymous said...

I'm in the process of drilling a well.

I'm aware, under city law, that I cannot hook up such a water source to my home for drinking and bathing.

But I can save a bundle in the long run
for watering my lawn, trees, etc.

Being that this is a capital sales tax payment is required.

I might also be able to use it as an income tax deduction...I'm not sure yet.

Anonymous said...

We have rain barrels at the end of every downspout.

More to the point, the City holds these meetings during the work-day, mid-week, in AUGUST, in Manhattan, and wonders why a. turnout is low, and b. why people are aggravated about the pathetic public outreach... idiots.

We just got three-day notice of an Industrial Business Zone mapping, which would incentivize heavy industry to move from, say, Williamsburgh - or Willetts Point, to my neighborhood, with R directly adjacent to M3-1 Zones. How do you like that? Our tax dollars subsidizing our own rape to enable further development of hipster-havens. I can't wait til the current mayor is gone.

Anonymous said...

"We have rain barrels at the end of every downspout."

Be careful they don't see them. Rain barrels might be classified as standing water which mosquitoes populate. City likes to fine people for these.

Anonymous said...

It's free money to the city where people who don't have political connections are getting overcharged.

The DEP has no incentive to correct this case by case, or to get to root cause of the overcharges.

Anonymous said...

De Blasio wants to give the DEP an incentive or two, if the City Council goes along.

Anonymous said...

yeah, a well and barrel. Genius! I'm in LIC so those are brilliant suggestions. Maybe I'll hit some ancient Dutch Kills petroleum effluence Jed-Clampett style, or I can have extra water so my pavement can sprout tomatoes.

Neo-urban dumbassery at its hi-bred finest!

Meanwhile, it's gravity that pulls the water from upstate to the city. I don't believe there is a pump in delivery system, not a single one. So don't give me the "it's expensive to deliver" crap.

Who the hell trolls this thread, and why the secrecy over the water bill?

Thanks to Crapper, a true civil servant.