Readers React

Have DWP billing issues? You're not the only one

To the editor: As newlyweds, my husband and I lived in Nichols Canyon in the Hollywood Hills. Our house, on stilts, had virtually no grounds, so we hardly watered. However, our water bills were astronomical. ("Van Nuys couple's $51,649.32 DWP horror story," May 20)

With no other apparent explanation, my husband assumed my shampoos were to blame. But after convincing him I was responsibly showering (conserving water while lathering, yadda, yadda), he agreed I was not the culprit, and we hired a leak consultant, as did Savely and Stella Goreshter, the couple socked with a bill from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for more than $51,000.

No leak. Rather, it turned out that when the house was built, the DWP had installed a defective water meter that had one digit too many, therefore tabulating our water usage at 10 times the actual level. After six months of haggling, we finally received a giant reimbursement.

So, Goreshters, don't give up. There may very well be other bizarre explanations for your massive bill — and, in the meantime, perhaps go check your meter.

Jacqueline Jacobs Caster, Pacific Palisades

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To the editor: The first step in getting more money to the DWP to fund improvements to its aging infrastructure would be for it to stop giving the city of Los Angeles many millions of dollars every year to help shore up its finances. ("DWP takes first step toward possible rate increases," May 19)

Shouldn't such a transfer of money be illegal anyway? It just seems to be a backhanded tax on the people of Los Angeles.

Arline George, Reseda

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To the editor: I have been tracking my DWP usage and rates since 2004.

The article includes this statement: "There have been no base rate increases for water since a 3.1% hike in 2009, [DWP spokesman Joe Ramallo] said. The last base rate increase for power came in 2012 when an 11% increase was spread over two years."

My Tier 1 water rate has gone from $2.87 per hundred cubic feet in 2008 to $4.89 in 2014. That is a 70% increase, which is a far cry from 3.1%.

Someone is playing fast and loose with the definition of a base rate, or my bill is incorrect.

Jim Toomey, Reseda

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