City owes woman more than $1,000 for faulty water meter

Posted at 10:10 PM, Oct 24, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-25 00:05:36-04

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) --A Richmond resident said she is owed more than $1,000 from the city because of a faulty meter.

Earlier this year, CBS 6 reporter Lorenzo Hall spoke with a Richmond woman who had issues with her water bill. At the time, Danielle Jones said she had to pay $135 for a month of water use of water at her quaint south Richmond apartment.

“It's always been high, so I just thought, this part of town sucks,” says Jones.

After getting that water bill for $135, the next month's bill was even higher at $186. Jones said that's when she figured something had to be wrong.

“I talked to friends who live in other parts of the city and have houses, like own their houses and realized no, no, it’s our water that's just that high,” says Jones.

After calling the city of Richmond, crews discovered Jones' underground water meter wasn't calculating her usage properly because a component of that meter wasn't installed correctly.

Now, Jones tells us the city owes her more than $1,000 because of the continuous overcharge.

“So, pretty much, we've prepaid water for a while,” Jones said.

Previously, the city charged $1.63 per CCF of water. In July it was $3.21. For waste water, it used to be $2.59 per CCF, but that went up to $5.82.With other Richmond residents complaining about higher than average water bills, we wanted to know if there could be a problem with your meter.

"It's a rarity. It hardly ever happens,” Angela Fountain, Department of Public Utilities Spokesperson, said.  She said they don't inspect water meters regularly, but meter are inspected if there's a water-related problem nearby.

“We always check the components of the meter to make sure it's operating properly,” Fountain said.

If you suspect an error with your water meter, Fountain said to call the Department of Public Utilities so they can send out a crew to inspect it.