This week representatives from Phi Delta Kappa on Harrison Street in Plymouth asked the Board of Public Works and Safety to review their water consumption and have the meter tested due to an extremely large water and sewer bill.
Speaking for the organization, Joe Clinton said they were notified of an excessive water usage by the city on February 7th from the water meter reading on January 31st. A meeting was set for Feb. 8th to have an inspection of the Phi Delts Hall done by employees from the water department.
The inspection did find a toilet that was leaking although it didn’t appear that it was the only cause for the extremely high bill.
Typically the Phi Delta Kappa bills average $35 a month while their January bill was $750 or roughly 25 times their normal use. The water usage the first few days in February was also higher than normal. Looking at the average daily usage readings, Clinton said in January was 36 units per day and in February it was only 7.8 units and nothing had changed. He said, “That kind of raised a flag for us.”
The Phi Delts asked to have the billing reviewed and to see if the meter is functioning properly.
Utility Superintendent Donnie Davidson said, “It is pretty alarming the units they used when normally it’s about 20 units which is equivalent to about 2,000 gallons per month. They used 1123 units which is 112,300 gallons in that particular month.”
Davidson said, “Due to the size of the bill and how unusual it is, I think it does warrant taking the meter out and having it inspected and checked.” He said a third party will inspect the meter in the next few days and will have a report back by the next Board of Works meeting on February 26th. The meter was installed in 2000 and Davidson said they typically last 15 to 20 years.
Davidson closed his comments by saying, “Water loss can add up very quickly. It appears that it would have to be something a little bit more than a toilet.” He said 200 to 300 gallons a day water loss on a toilet is not uncommon but event with all 4 toilets running it doesn’t bring it up to the level of their bill.
No action was taken on amending the bill. The board of works will wait until their next meeting for report on the meter.