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Old 10-24-2012, 10:36 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
16,722 posts, read 40,841,034 times
Reputation: 9197

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTx View Post
Allow me to add some input based on my own personal experience with SAWS.

I posted about this awhile back but I will go ahead and say it again. SAWS thinks they can make you pay a bill regardless of whom is responsible for the leak.

I started getting a high water bill and during my investigation, I discovered that the leak was in the alley right outside the meter. When I contacted SAWS, they tried to say that the leak was my responsibility to fix because it was past the water meter. While the leak may have been past the water meter, it occurred just before my back yard. After a few months of fighting them while they allowed the water to keep flowing out of the leak, they finally adjusted the bill and fixed the leak. It was the worse experienced I ever had with a utility company. It made no sense to me that they allowed the water to keep leaking (and it was not a slow leak!). What had caused the leak was that someone driving in the alley drove over the meter box causing the line to break. Probably a CPS or Time Warner truck as I see them often driving in the alley.
If the water is flowing through your meter before it leaks, then it is your responsibility to pay for the water and fix the leak. The utility is not responsible for fixing leaks on your side of the meter, unless the leak is in the meter it self.
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:00 PM
 
5,623 posts, read 6,407,291 times
Reputation: 3593
Quote:
Originally Posted by CptnRn View Post
If the water is flowing through your meter before it leaks, then it is your responsibility to pay for the water and fix the leak. The utility is not responsible for fixing leaks on your side of the meter, unless the leak is in the meter it self.
Nope. It isn't mine to fix every time a utility company drives through the alley. SAWS should have place the meter box in a better location. I already said that though. The leak I dealt with was because someone drove over the box. No one drives in the alley except utility companies.

After the seeing the first billing cycle with the leak, I notified them. What did they do? They let it leak a couple more months and charging me for it. Someone there is poorly managing leak issues.

It was a big fight but in the end, SAWS understood the situation and removed the charges.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:06 AM
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Location: Ohio
16,814 posts, read 33,128,139 times
Reputation: 13587
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTx View Post
Nope. It isn't mine to fix every time a utility company drives through the alley. SAWS should have place the meter box in a better location. I already said that though. The leak I dealt with was because someone drove over the box. No one drives in the alley except utility companies.
You may be right from a moral standpoint, but the law says otherwise. Get an attorney or one of those TV reporters who help with consumer issues and get SAWS to move the meter.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:02 AM
 
5,623 posts, read 6,407,291 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo View Post
You may be right from a moral standpoint, but the law says otherwise. Get an attorney or one of those TV reporters who help with consumer issues and get SAWS to move the meter.
If it happens again, I will find a way to make them relocate the box. I don't want to repeat the fight I had with them in the past.

Please understand that the leak was in the alley, past my fence line. The actual leak was about 3 inches from the meter box. I never go into the alley except for the occasional weed trimming. I can not see the alley from my backyard and it is not easily accessable for me. I have to walk into the alley and hope that I don't get bit by a snake because most of my neighbors fail to trim their part of the alley.

It seems that alleys are a thing of the past so I can see why some people are not fully understanding the situation here.
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Old 10-25-2012, 01:12 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
1,289 posts, read 3,334,605 times
Reputation: 917
Are you sure there isn't some sort of easement at the rear of the property and the space beyond the rear fence is actually yours? Just because the fence is there doesn't necessarily mean that's where the property line is. You might want to check your property lines if you're not sure.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:33 PM
 
5,623 posts, read 6,407,291 times
Reputation: 3593
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodmanm View Post
Are you sure there isn't some sort of easement at the rear of the property and the space beyond the rear fence is actually yours? Just because the fence is there doesn't necessarily mean that's where the property line is. You might want to check your property lines if you're not sure.
I was not saying there is no easement. I know there is one and that is why I go back there to trim the weeds. City requires that I do anyways.

If someone drives on your property (easement or not) and damages something belonging to a utility company on your property, who is responsible? The homeowner or the person driving?
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:12 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
1,289 posts, read 3,334,605 times
Reputation: 917
This is something you would have to confirm but I've always thought that things of a permanent nature i.e. water meters shouldn't be built in easements. You might be able to use that as ammunition to get SAWS to move the water meter out of the easement. Or at the very least secure it from future damage.
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:49 AM
 
3,141 posts, read 5,160,486 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodmanm View Post
This is something you would have to confirm but I've always thought that things of a permanent nature i.e. water meters shouldn't be built in easements. You might be able to use that as ammunition to get SAWS to move the water meter out of the easement. Or at the very least secure it from future damage.
All the SAWS water meters on my street are in the right-of-way, just inches from the curb. I know of a couple of streets in my area, where all the water meters are in an easment behind the back fence (kind of like an alley, but it's just grass back there, no pavement or gravel), but the meter boxes are right up against the fence, where it would be tough to drive a vehicle over them without hitting the fence.

There are such things as meter boxes that are designed to support the weight of a motor vehicle. Maybe that's what you need, if it isn't feasible to move the meter to a location where it would be less subject to damage.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:59 PM
 
13 posts, read 27,314 times
Reputation: 18
Update on my original posting back in Oct.

After waiting two months for a determination on being over-billed in Oct I got a notice today saying:

Amount due 329.09
FINAL NOTICE
This account is now seriously past due and is scheduled to be turned off. (I think they mean the water is scheduled to be turned off, not the account)

This is the only written notice I have ever received about the matter.

I'll email them tonight and see if I can get more information on why this is now happening to
a senior couple.
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:46 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,280 times
Reputation: 11
Default SAWS - Mysterious Water Leak & Bill Adjustment

Help and or Advise...

To whom it may concern with a High Water Bill:

I also am having difficulties getting "fair treatment" for a reasonable "bill adjustment" from SAWS for a mysterious water leak. My leak problem started when SAWS replaced my meter, but I can not prove they caused the leak. I know, I'm sure, I didn't cause the leak!

Apparently, I think there may be others in San Antonio who are having the same difficulties with SAWS. I read several postings with similar problems. SAWS seems to be a "our way, or the highway" mind set! So, there might be power in numbers with some mutual cooperation, this might be a more effective than our individual battles.

From what I've researched, this problem seems to be relatively common, (1-2% every month in every city in the USA). Mathematically, that could be 20,000+ San Antonioans with high water bills every month! Our local water service takes no joint responsiblity, nor attempts to give a fair consideration on our bill adjustment which they should. I hope there is enough interest to form a group to create, establish, and motivate a more effective response from SAWS, and a more compassionate resolution on our bill adjustments.

Ten, Twenty, Fifty, a Hundred, a Thousand People with a high water usage dispute might raise the eye brows, or open the hears, on our city management, (Mayor...), and local media, (consumers' rights journalists), more effectively than having to fight Goliath alone,... and without a slingshot!

email me -
Who is willing to form a group to PROTEST SAWS ?

Last edited by bizwiz; 12-02-2012 at 09:59 PM..
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