Unable to convince the Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority that 54,700 gallons of water did not pass through their meter during a summer billing period, a Pendergrass couple must now pay the $467.12 water bill.
Deb and Mike Peede argued that they did not use the water for irrigation, via leaks or by any other method. But with a meter that proved accurate in laboratory testing, the county water and sewerage authority stuck to its guns last Thursday night and denied the appeal.
Mike Peede, who works in process improvement for Georgia Pacific, presented a chart showing the couple’s 30-month history of bills and declared that there was a “99.72 percent chance we should not have a bill this high.”
“The data from a historical standpoint does not match what we see here,” he said.
However, Peede’s chart tracked dollars and did not account for the new “conservation” water rates imposed last year that upped the cost per 1,000 gallons over 6,000 gallons used per month by 55 percent.
Chairman Randall Pugh noted that, “unabashedly, the reason for it (the rate structure) is to financially encourage conservation. For large amounts of water, it is uncomfortable.” Had those rates not been enacted, the Peedes’ bill for that July 16-Aug. 18 period would have been only $312.75