A southern California man is threatening legal action against the Ramona Municipal Water District, alleging that a faulty meter is to blame for a high water bill.
George Newman first complained to the water district after receiving a water bill in 2011 that was more than 1,100 times larger than the bill for the same time in 2010, according to the Ramona Sentinel. Newman, who 40 years ago served as a city manager overseeing water and sewer services in Winnipeg, Canada, said he saw similar problems regarding faulty water meters during that time. Ramona officials, however, said there was a visible water leak in Newman's back yard.
Newman had requested a credit for the water-usage spike, as well as several others over the last decade. Water district officials denied that request and insisted Newman pay the remaining balance on his bill. Newman refused and the water district shut off the water in a rental home owned by Newman, leaving tenants without running water over the recent Easter weekend, according to the Sentinel.
A three-bedroom home with four occupants in California is typically modeled to use 170,000 gallons of water per year, according to statistics from the California Building Industry Association.