Develop a new habit - check your water meter regularly if you don't already

I’ll keep this short as I have to deal with it for a year and am done.

  • November 2016 - a meter reader came and said the position of the meter made it difficult to read. No-one had ever mentioned that before. It was removed and replaced immediately.
  • December 2016 - I received a bill saying two of us had used 651,000 litres and I owed €1,700.
  • December/January/February/April (probably more) driving to the Saur office demanding an investigation. In the end, I lost it and screamed at the manager, literally begging them to help. Those who know me know I did not have nearly 2k hidden under a mattress. This was serious.
  • No action taken so I told them to examine the meter they had removed. Because so much time had now elapsed,
  • its condition had deteriorated so testing was no longer possible.
  • I told them to come to the house and check for water damage - surely 650k litres of water might leave a mark - no-one came.
  • I went to the mediator who conducted an impressively thorough review. He discounted Saur’s contentions that it must have been a leaking pipe to an in-ground pool (we don’t have one), an outside tap left on (we don’t have one). He can’t compel parties to do anything, only advise. He concluded, based on our history of use, we couldn’t have used that volume of water and Saur should find an amicable solution.
  • That was 3 months ago. Not a word from Saur - no suggestion for compromise, no payment schedule, nada.
  • Yesterday I received a final notice to pay 1,700 in full or face prosecution.

The fact they failed to investigate the cause means it could happen again - who knows? And who will be liable for the bill - me. So, folks, check your meter regularly. They deny meters can malfunction. Ironically, the replacement meter blocked within 2 months. If i was a ‘water stealer’ I wouldn’t have bothered letting them know and could have enjoyed free water. Unfortunately, that’s not my nature.

Today I wrote a two page letter to the Executive President listing where and how frequently they had failed and how he should read his own code of ethics. It will achieve little - he will probably bin it - but hopefully it will make him angry. Tough. That is nothing compared to the stress I’ve been under for over a year.

So, as I say, check that meter.

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we bought a house back in September and the house had been empty for nearly 15 years.

We turned the water on when we arrived first time. a few weeks after getting the keys we had a water guy come up and turn off the water as there had been a massive leak and the bill was estimated to be around 4000€ Turns out the water pipe had burst underground after the meter!!

We were in a right spin thinking omg what are we going to do…

My wife rang the water people, turns out as we had not filled in any application for the water it was not in anyone’s name as yet so we were not responsible. I feel for you with them I know how it made me feel about such a huge bill.

Hope you manage to get somewhere with them.

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Blimey, Harry - I think you had a guardian angel otherwise you would have been liable. I won’t get anywhere - they consider it as case closed. That’s why I went for the CEO - I thought I’ve nothing to lose. It was a case of if you want to take on an exhausted, single mum, bring it, but don’t think you won’t get a written whipping in return. I told him I wouldn’t be holding my breath for a reply - I’d already learned from experience that Saur prefer to do nothing if they’re making a profit.

yes i think they though we were going to be paying out, turned out the main supply should have been turned off years ago but was not so when we turned on the tap at the house supply we expected nothing to come out.

wish it was the full case unfortunately by time the leak had been discovered we had placed down an entire ready floor and we had to dig it all up to put in a new pipe. that alone cost us money plus we had to put a building on hold, luckily we have in house dogs as our main income so while we lost some business over Christmas by having to turn people asking away we were able to accommodate all our already booked customers.

the bonus side was with the floods we have had it showed us a weak point that we can now fix and had we built the external area it would likely to have caused a great deal of damage had the building been open and built.

I love that what must have been complete chaos turned out to have a silver lining. It’s wishful thinking but I’ll cross my fingers anyway that something good comes out of this in the end.

it was but it wasnt. ive invested in all the equipments, flooring fencing tiles, underfloor heating doors, concrete and lots more. now sitting on 12 thousand€ of stuff from mortgage that we cannot start to use until at least June or July and the money could have been spend elsewhere and left us having to put the other work on hold. Luckily people come to me for me being me with dogs and know we are open but not fully with the second garden being unable to be completed as yet but its still costing me business as cannot take intact males at the moment nor can we take dogs that cannot mix with other dogs until the work is done. Nothing like your situation though I think its absolutely awful. I am private messaging you with an idea though that may help you out with a sort of solution.

Thanks Harry. It turned out worse for you than I’d thought. Horrible situation.