Pasco County water customers want refunds

The 8 On Your Side Investigation into Pasco water bills continues.

PASCO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) – Pasco County Utility customers who think they were over billed for water are still frustrated with the county’s response. An Inspector General audit, released earlier this week, confirmed billing problems, first highlighted last October by 8 On Your Side.

The audit showed meter readers missed reads and billed customers too much routinely. The county responded by hiring a consultant to help the department clean up the way it does business. County administrators gave the department until March 16 to implement changes.

SLIDESHOW: How to Save Money at Home

But what about those folks who paid too much for water? The utilities department encourages them to contact them so they can determine whether or not they qualify for a refund. The county issued a news release Friday, vowing to issue refunds to some by mid- September. But customers complain they are still getting nowhere.

“They’re just telling me that’s it my sprinkler system that’s on, when it’s not on at all,” Tiffany Lopez said. “And basically, there’s nothing they can do.”

READ: Entire document on the Pasco Water Audit

Meanwhile, County Administrator Michelle Baker issued this statement:  “We appreciate the work of the Inspector General,” said Pasco County Administrator Michele Baker. “We will use the findings to continue to improve our utility meter reading and billing practices and processes. We will review the accounts of the customers who contacted the IG immediately. We are very sorry for the confusion and anxiety experienced by our customers. Based on the IG Report, we will continue to rely upon the accuracy of the water meters as the basis for consumption and measurement of water delivered to the customer.”

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