Palm Harbor homeowners Gordon and Sue Wysocki are frugal with their home water use, about 2,000 or 3,000 gallons a month.
So imagine their shock when a bill arrived for 91,000 gallons of water use over a two month period.
“The bill is 10 times what it should have been,” Gordon Wysocki said.
In real terms it was $677, not including the $69 Pinellas County Utilities charged him to test his meter when Wysocki couldn’t believe he and his wife used that much water.
It was the equivalent of filling his swimming pool six times over.
“If I used that much definitely I wouldn’t complain, I’d say, ‘thank you very much.’ It went to everyone’s home in the neighborhood and they’re happy and I said ‘Merry Christmas,’” Wysocki said.
At the direction of Pinellas County, the Wysocki’s checked for dripping faucets and running toilets. They even did the dye test in the toilet tanks and called in a professional plumber who couldn’t find a problem anywhere.
When the county said their meter was perfectly okay, they had to pay up or lose their water service.
“We certainly understand and I understand the customers’ concerns. We have to follow the rules and policies to ensure equitably for everyone,” said Georges Gonzalez, Pinellas County Utilities Director.
”We do have a leak policy that we have to follow.”
Gonzalez can’t explain the Wysocki extraordinary water bill but suggest maybe someone in the neighborhood stole their water when they went on a week-long cruse this summer.
Wysocki insist that’s nonsense but had no choice but to pay the bill.
His only consolation is a handwritten note personally sent by the utilities director.
“I totally understand and comprehend his concerns,” Gonzalez said.