Homeowner association says water bill needs to be addressed by T - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Homeowner association says water bill needs to be addressed by Tucson Water

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Desert greenery along Twin Peaks Road helps Continental Ranch Community Association save water, and money.

"They do take that very seriously.  We take a look at all the water bills like we've done here," said Josh Seng, the community manager for Contintental Ranch Community Association.

So when the water bill for the area along Twin Peaks near Coachline jumped from about $130 to almost $1300, more than any month to include summertime, Seng asked landscapers if there was a problem with the irrigation system.  He said that they told him no.  He asked Tucson Water for answers.

The utility said that the meter can hold usage data for more than a month.  But it was too late for the association to get that.

"Customers need to contact us, we always work really hard with our customers to try and identify what the problem is first.  The adjustment is usually offered after water use has come back down to normal," said Fernando Molina, public information officer for Tucson Water.

Almost three hundred thousand gallons can be three times the amount used for the swimming pool according to Seng, who added that the amount is more in line with what keeps one of the association's sod-filled area green.

"The fact that they couldn't take a look at common sense, and use logic to arrive at a conclusion seems a bit unfair," Seng said.

He said that Tucson Water is offering a $350 adjustment, which is still shy of the difference with the usual bill.  After that would be an administrative hearing.

"It often is difficult to prove that.  Again, until we have these new meters in every home, it's really hard to prove if the meter readings have been accurate, that there was something on our end," Molina said.

"(The bill remains) extremely high, I think, but, that's about it, you know?  If we hire an attorney to go after it, it could be good money going after bad," Seng said.

The goal with new meters is to provide updates on a regular basis for customers to track their usage.  If there is a problem, customers are urged to call Tucson Water immediately.  The correction might be a matter of looking at the water meter to see if there was a misread.

The utility can also check to see if the meter is working properly.  But in the case of Continental Ranch, Seng said that if the meter turned out to be correct, they would face a $90 charge.

Molina said that a water audit could help find problems with your irrigation, toilet, or water softener valves.

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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