A water meter that an Innisfail couple say is defective is undergoing tests.
Since summer, seniors Betty and Clarence Moore had been fighting a one-time $760.20 water bill for their small bungalow.
Their typical monthly water bill is around $84.
Betty Moore, 69, said they received a phone call from the town in late October and told their account was now cleared.
“They have sent the meter back to the company and they have taken the money off our account. They didn’t say it was their fault. No apologies. Just that it’s supposedly straightened out,” Moore said.
The balance on their most recent bill dated Nov. 17 still includes that big summer hit so they’re still waiting to see the balance on their next bill.
Moore originally contacted the Advocate about the problem in late September. The town told her their water meter was working fine, they probably had a plumbing leak, and to pay the bill or their water would be shut off.
The water bill for the month in question showed they used about 20,000 litres per day for eight days before it returned to their normal rate of 200 to 500 litres.
“You can go back 32 years and we’ve never, ever used that much water. There is no way we can use that much water.”
Betty and her husband, Clarence, 75, have lived in their 1,040-square-foot house at 3667 54th Ave. in Innisfail for three decades.
She said she tested their plumbing for leaks and found none.
Moore said it’s been a stressful period for the couple but it’s important to spread the word because other people may have run into the same problem with their meters.
“Hopefully it will help somebody,” Moore said.
Heather Whymark, Town of Innisfail’s director of corporate services, said no one else has reported a similar problem and the town is still determining whether the Moore’s meter was working correctly.
“We don’t have the means to test it properly here so it has to go back to the manufacturer. It will take another 30 days before we hear something back on that,” Whymark said.
At this point, the Moores’ bill has been reversed, she said.
“If it does, however, come back that the meter is valid, then that’s something council will have to look at again.”