CARMEL, Calif. -- It's the case of the high California American Water bill. This time the victim is all the way on the East Coast. His second home is in Carmel. Since there's no one at his home in Carmel, James Smith couldn't believe his eyes when his bill was $2,646.
"Water leaks happen, they're not common, but they do occur," said Catherine Bowie, Cal Am Manager for External Affairs.
Bowie said there is no mystery to why these bills are so high.
"The vast majority have been attributed to leaks," said Bowie.
However, Smith said his landscaper, contractor and house keeper all checked for leaks and found nothing. Bowie said that doesn't mean there isn't one, and finding the source of a leak can take months. But Smith said CalAm claims he used up over 40,000 gallons of water, that's enough to fill up a swimming pool. Smith said the trace of a leak would have been obvious.
"We have sandy soils here, if you have an irrigation leak the water can soak into the soil and go unnoticed," said Bowie.
Bowie said that CalAm's tier rate system is also why some bills come out so high. The rate system charges you more the more water you use.
"The purpose of the rate structure is really to get people to conserve water, its been very successful. In these rare circumstances where is a leak we work with the customer," said Bowie.
CalAm always works with the customers that have the high bills. They usually adjust the bill that will come out to a 80 percent discount. The customer is still charged for the water used, just at a lower rate.
According to Bowie, the reason CalAm has this tier rate system is because of the tight water restrictions on the peninsula, the state has imposed this to penalize water waste.
Saturday, May 18 2013 11:14 PM EDT2013-05-19 03:14:07 GMT
BRIDGEPORT, CT -- Federal investigators are in Connecticut inspecting the scene of a commuter train crash. Officials said it could take days before the busy section of track reopens. During the FridayMore >>
Federal investigators are in Connecticut inspecting the scene of a commuter train crash. Officials said it could take days before the busy section of track reopens.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 11:08 PM EDT2013-05-19 03:08:19 GMT
DAMASCUS, VA -- According to the Associated Press, a car drove into a group of hikers at a parade in Damascus, a small Virginia town. Around 50 to 60 people were hurt, according to reports. No fatalitiesMore >>
According to the Associated Press, a car drove into a group of hikers at a parade in Damascus, a small Virginia town.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 9:08 PM EDT2013-05-19 01:08:42 GMT
SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- The 4-H kids program trains future leaders in agriculture and community service across the Santa Barbara County but it is in danger of being cut altogether. The 4H program receivesMore >>
The 4H program receives $143,000 from the county which is scheduled to decide if it will continue or cut the funding this June 10th.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 9:06 PM EDT2013-05-19 01:06:55 GMT
PISMO BEACH, Calif. -- Some like to show off vintage cars while others in Pismo Beach like to show off vintage trailers. The Pismo Beach community got a blast from the past as more than 300 vintage trailersMore >>
The Pismo Beach community got a blast from the past as more than 300 vintage trailers rolled through Pismo Coast Village this weekend. More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 11:15 AM EDT2013-05-18 15:15:59 GMT
LOMPOC, Calif. - The Lompoc Fire Department held its lottery on Friday morning for local groups to sell "safe and sane" fireworks for its upcoming Fourth of July celebration. Fire officials held a blindMore >>
LOMPOC, Calif. - The Lompoc Fire Department held its lottery on Friday morning for local groups to sell "safe and sane" fireworks for its upcoming Fourth of July celebration.More >>