Resident can’t explain how she could have used four times as much water
Forest Ridge Court resident Bonnie Wegner was shocked when she opened her fourth-quarter water bill in December and found a $296 charge.
The bill from the village’s water utility said Wegner — who lives by herself — used 21,000 gallons of water during the quarter, more than four times her normal usage.
Although she paid her bill, Wegner appealed the charge to Saukville’s Utility Committee, which reviewed the case last week.
Before appealing to village officials, she was diligent in trying to find the cause of the large bill. It helped that she has been vigilant in keeping water use in check even before the usage dispute.
Wegner said her own home inspection did not reveal any running toilets or pinpoint leaks. She also said she could not detect any sound of running water.
“I am diligent in monitoring my two toilets,” Wegner said in a letter to the village.
“I perform dye testing on a regular basis, but did another dye test on Dec. 29. No dye leaked from the tank to the bowl. I did not have any small leaks that could have caused the discrepancy.”
The village’s policy is to have the water meter tested whenever there are cases of disputed water volume usage.
Water Utility Supt. Dale Kropidlowski said the independent testing conducted by a Minnesota company showed Wegner’s meter was functioning within established standards for accuracy.
Public Service Commission rules specify that utilities are required to reimburse customers if testing shows meters are off by 2% or more.
Trustee Dan Sauer, chairman of the committee, explained the village’s responsibility is to ensure its meters are accurate, not to solve any water-use mysteries.
“The meter runs when the water goes through,” Sauer said to Wegner. “Unfortunately, our role is to make sure the meter is operating correctly, not to determine where the water goes.”
With no evidence of the village being responsible for the unusually high bill, the committee voted unanimously to deny Wegner’s request for partial reimbursement.
Utility officials encouraged her to keep monitoring her plumbing fixtures to make sure no future water-use questions arise.