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Funny story

I live in pflugervile tx, just north of austin

Bought a new house in june 2008, called electric and water company and created new accounts

Didnt call the sewer co., in my case its not the same co. who charges for water and sewer
They bill according water usage in dec/jan (comes to about 60 bucks a month for sewer only, water is 30ish and up)

Now I got a letter saying

A) I must open account or
B) They would call my water co. and stop my water

How is that legal?

- Can they force water co. to do this?
- Do I have any ground for not paying for past bills, when I didnt even have an account?


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This finance "deal" stinks.

qcumber98 (Jun. 24, 2012 @ 6:18p) |

I love it when some muppet comes up with a hare-brained scheme... and it works for awhile and they feel pretty smart.

The... (more)

Crazytree (Jun. 24, 2012 @ 8:44p) |

You're right.. I knew something smelled funny about this thread.

Isn't this the sort of post you guys normally create alt... (more)

BradisBrad (Jun. 25, 2012 @ 4:46a) |

http://www.statesman.com/news/statesman-investigates/growth-of-large-private-water-companies-brings-higher-2038684.html?viewAsSinglePage=true
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You put water into the system. You used their service illegally. They can't shut off sewer - to do so would create an unsafe situation - so the just order the water company to stop providing the water that is flowing into their system.


Are you really trying to use the sewer without paying for it? and if so, why?

I would call them today and open the account

However, I am in little financial difficulties and cant pay 2500$ if they bill that much for past usage


Story is absolutely hysterical! You scam the sewage co and now want a way out of paying what you rightfully owe! So funny!

mrkk said:   I would call them today and open the account

However, I am in little financial difficulties and cant pay 2500$ if they bill that much for past usage



"If they bill that much"??? Have you asked? Our sewer is between $100 and $200 a year. Stop being a deadbeat. You're thread is asking how to steal.

The letter said you got to open the account or they will have your water turned off.

What is your problem?

kwest said:   Story is absolutely hysterical! You scam the sewage co and now want a way out of paying what you rightfully owe! So funny!

More funny is that it is in Texas. This guy must not be from Texas. lol!

Somehow I think you have to have a leg to stand on here. Perhaps posters didn't pick up on the fact that you've been unbilled for around 48 months, which is absurd...

I'd start by calling them and seeing if they can work out a reduced amount or a payment plan. Most utilities claims I see say they can go back 2 years.

You should not be charged interest or late fees for improper billing. You can also challenge the numbers they bill you, but good luck there.

How about if they just return to you what you put in their system and call it even?

Expecting a follow up post from sewer company:
Can a non-customer force me to accept their sh!t?

Al3xK said:   Somehow I think you have to have a leg to stand on here. Perhaps posters didn't pick up on the fact that you've been unbilled for around 48 months, which is absurd...

I'd start by calling them and seeing if they can work out a reduced amount or a payment plan. Most utilities claims I see say they can go back 2 years.

You should not be charged interest or late fees for improper billing. You can also challenge the numbers they bill you, but good luck there.



I read it as OP not knowing if they will ask for the earlier payment or not.

The obvious thing to do is open up the account immediately. Dealing with any past billing is a separate matter. But taking services after you are clearly on notice --- ha --- I wouldn't try that even the most namby pamby place -- let alone Texas.

Oh well OP needs to open an account...and it sounds like he will have to pay for the two years of service (minus fees/interest) unless he can get the value reduced.

OP check Texas water code: http://law.onecle.com/texas/water/chapter13.html

Very dry and I didn't see much that could help.

mrkk said:   Now I got a letter saying

A) I must open account or
B) They would call my water co. and stop my water

How is that legal?

- Can they force water co. to do this?
- Do I have any ground for not paying for past bills, when I didnt even have an account?

It's legal because there is no doubt a city or county ordinance requiring a sewage account if a water account is active and stipulating that water service can be terminated if there is no sewage account.

Open the account, find out your balance, and if there are hefty charges for past service, ask about setting up a payment plan to get current.

Sewer and water rates vary wildly. Some jurisdictions are able to keep rates low, others aren't, and some states are using creative means to squeeze water districts financially so more costs need to be passed on to water/sewer users. At my previous residence, water+sewer bill was $85/month even if usage was next to nothing during the rate-setting period and even if there was no water usage during the month billed. (50 miles down the road, sewer is about $15/month and a typical off-peak bill is about $30/month.) So it's entirely possible that OP's past service charges could be significant ...

I think OP got a good chance to prove he didn't discharge anything using this thread as evidence, and therefore aren't responsible for any sewer bill, now or in the future.

mrkk said:    ... How is that legal? ....

sometimes a good dose of common sense is useful

someone could go research the laws --- but really, why bother?

if they sent out a guy to seal off the entrance to their sewage system to prevent you from taking their services --- would you be crying, can they really do that?

This is a strange setup in some parts of Pflugerville. (Howdy, neighbor)

I believe the sewer is handled by the city, while the water is a private company. So, since it's the city, I doubt there's an easy way to get out of it.

Can you tell them you've been uno-ing and dos-ing in the backyard and not even using their services?

When I moved in, I didn't set up an electric account for a few months and they sent me a letter telling me to set up an account. I did and they didn't come after me for the ~2 months I didn't have one.

I'm curious now; let me know if I'm wrong about the city providing sewer service for your house. Does the city pick up your garbage?

Sewer service should be around $25-30/month and trash should be $15/month.

supersnoop00 said:   I'm curious now; let me know if I'm wrong about the city providing sewer service for your house. Does the city pick up your garbage?

Sewer service should be around $25-30/month and trash should be $15/month.


garbage is city, 15$
water is manville water supply -
sewer is windermere... - base charge is 32$ + 25ish more depending on water usage

even if you use more water for your lawn (which does not go to sewer) they will be charging you more

howdy, welcome to pflugerville

PS: others, thanks for shitty comments, I totally expected and deserved them
to the guy who pays 200 for a year, please tell me where, I can move today....

Revike said:   
It's legal because there is no doubt a city or county ordinance requiring a sewage account if a water account is active and stipulating that water service can be terminated if there is no sewage account.


you are right

http://info.sos.state.tx.us/pls/pub/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app...

(e) Disconnection of water service due to nonpayment of sewer charges.

You might look at Section 34.01 of the Texas Penal code. I think that it will provide some real incentive for you to reach an agreement with the service provider.http://law.onecle.com/texas/penal/31.04.00.html Limitation is 4 years and they get to use municipal court. This is the statute that the old theft of Utility Service was merged into. The letter starts the clock to ticking. Given how the water Code sets sewer rates I would think that $2500 is steep. Your usage from the last winter period is a known quantity so they shouldn't be estimating current usage or last years usage.

>> to the guy who pays 200 for a year, please tell me where, I can move today....

I'm not him, but you can always move somewhere that doesnt have sewer, and only septic systems. A service agreement is required for you to operate your home's septic system, else the County Health Dept will come knocking. The septic contractor in our area runs $180-ish a year. To add to that, it'll cause to have the tank pumped every 3-5 years (~$500).

EDIT: The sole RED is from the OP. Lovely. Pay your Bills, Deadbeat!

Logan71 said:   >> to the guy who pays 200 for a year, please tell me where, I can move today....

I'm not him, but you can always move somewhere that doesnt have sewer, and only septic systems. A service agreement is required for you to operate your home's septic system, else the County Health Dept will come knocking. The septic contractor in our area runs $180-ish a year. To add to that, it'll cause to have the tank pumped every 3-5 years (~$500).


A service agreement isn't always required, but YMMV.

And the initial cost of the system, permitting, and additional annual inspections, depending on type of system. And paying to power the pump(s).
Yea, I'll take city sewer any day...


mrkk said:   garbage is city, 15$
water is manville water supply -
sewer is windermere... - base charge is 32$ + 25ish more depending on water usage

even if you use more water for your lawn (which does not go to sewer) they will be charging you more

Sewer charges are based on the average of your three lowest winter bills. The whole idea is that you aren't watering your lawn, so the water you are using is going down the drain; either directly or vicariously.

Be glad the city stepped in on the rate adjustment last month. If not, the sewer rate would have increased 40-80%. The city is trying to work on a comprehensive solution for all the disparate water/sewer providers.

dcg9381 said:   And the initial cost of the system, permitting,Most people are buying existing homes, so this cost is included when they buy it.
and additional annual inspections, depending on type of system.I've never heard of a system that requires annual inspections. In fact, when I was getting inspections when buying my current home, I was told by several companies that their "inspection" was just to pump it out, so if you didn't need a pumping you didn't need an inspection.
And paying to power the pump(s).Most systems operate using only gravity. No pumps required.

It is not uncommon for people to go 10 years between pumpings, but even assuming 5 years thats only $100/year.

mrkk said:   ...32$ + 25ish more depending on water usage

even if you use more water for your lawn (which does not go to sewer) they will be charging you more

howdy, welcome to plugerville
That's pretty normal procedure, not just in Plugerville. How are they supposed to know that the water was used for the lawn?

In most areas that charge per usage, you can have a separate meter installed for the irrigation, then you don't get chaged waste on that water.

I have a pressure based system, which is common in an area where it's not practical to have the distribution system below the tank. In our jurisdiction, a permit was required for design, but not for running the system. Pumping the tank is recommended. Like you, I know of people going 10 years w/o pumping.

There are types of systems which essentially spray the effluent above ground (aerobic spray). I know of jurisdictions that require annual inspection of this type of system.

These systems can have trouble, just like any other sewer system...

mrkk said:   I live in plugervile tx

You live in Pflugerville. You've been there for four years; you should know that.

I do think you can probably get a reduced amount, or at the very least agree to a payment plan so you don't have to pay the entire past due amount at once.

I have heard that there may be situations where it is illegal to shut off water, for health/safety reasons. However, if that is true, I'm sure after four years they can. But it might buy you some time if they just sent you notice.

mrkk said:   I would call them today and open the account

However, I am in little financial difficulties and cant pay 2500$ if they bill that much for past usage



Have you even called them to negotiate a payment plan before trying to claim here that it is illegal for them to bill you for water used?

cheezedawg said:   dcg9381 said:   And the initial cost of the system, permitting,Most people are buying existing homes, so this cost is included when they buy it.
and additional annual inspections, depending on type of system.I've never heard of a system that requires annual inspections. In fact, when I was getting inspections when buying my current home, I was told by several companies that their "inspection" was just to pump it out, so if you didn't need a pumping you didn't need an inspection.
And paying to power the pump(s).Most systems operate using only gravity. No pumps required.

It is not uncommon for people to go 10 years between pumpings, but even assuming 5 years thats only $100/year.


What you're describing is a closed system. Practically every system in 2-3 miles of me uses an aerobic septic system (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerobic_treatment_system), which does require two different pumps and actually _quarterly_ inspections. Since this system is not completely sealed, but uses grey water for irrigation, it is more closely monitored. The home owner actually has to play an active role in maintaining it, beyond pooping, flushing and having it pumped.

sounds like you are real smart and sophisticated. if i am right, why don't you tell them to f*** off and just connect a hose to your neighbors spicket and bury the hose to where it reaches your house, and hook up your plumbing from there. viola, water and sewer restored!!!

Logan71 said:   cheezedawg said:   dcg9381 said:   And the initial cost of the system, permitting,Most people are buying existing homes, so this cost is included when they buy it.
and additional annual inspections, depending on type of system.I've never heard of a system that requires annual inspections. In fact, when I was getting inspections when buying my current home, I was told by several companies that their "inspection" was just to pump it out, so if you didn't need a pumping you didn't need an inspection.
And paying to power the pump(s).Most systems operate using only gravity. No pumps required.

It is not uncommon for people to go 10 years between pumpings, but even assuming 5 years thats only $100/year.


What you're describing is a closed system. Practically every system in 2-3 miles of me uses an aerobic septic system (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerobic_treatment_system), which does require two different pumps and actually _quarterly_ inspections. Since this system is not completely sealed, but uses grey water for irrigation, it is more closely monitored. The home owner actually has to play an active role in maintaining it, beyond pooping, flushing and having it pumped.


Practically every system in 2-3 miles of you is definitely a tiny minority of septic systems across this country, 99% of which are closed, with leechfields, and do not require any sort of inspections at all.

OP says they bill sewer on the average of December and January bills. You shouldn't be watering much outdoors in the winter when the grass is dormant. For those outside of this area of central Texas, the trees usually finally begin to loose their leaves in Early December, and begin to come back in Late January or Early February. Most sewer systems base their rates off these months.

One option is for OP to drill his own water well -- around $10,000-$20,000. Then he won't have any water bills forever, and he can legally pump all he wants for just the cost of the pumps. There was an article in the Austin American Statements about

Do you have a large bucket and a curb drain nearby? If, so, that's half the problem solved!

This one's a floater, and probably gonna leave a stain.

mrkk said:   Funny story

I live in plugervile tx, just north of austin

Bought a new house in june 2008, called electric and water company and created new accounts

Didnt call the sewer co., in my case its not the same co. who charges for water and sewer
They bill according water usage in dec/jan (comes to about 60 bucks a month for sewer only, water is 30ish and up)

Now I got a letter saying

A) I must open account or
B) They would call my water co. and stop my water

How is that legal?

- Can they force water co. to do this?
- Do I have any ground for not paying for past bills, when I didnt even have an account?



Confused why this is a thread.

You been using sewage services for 4 years and haven't paid a dime?

Pay your bills, deadbeat.


ETA: I've come to notice that whenever someone says "Funny story...." there is, in fact, no funny story.

What a let down that saying is.

mrkk said:   Funny story

I live in plugervile tx


mrkk said:   

howdy, welcome to plugerville


Guys, guys, we have it all wrong! He's been wrongfully charged by the city of Pflugerville. He just needs to politely inform them that he is resident in Plugerville and is therefore not responsible for the charges.

Sorry for all the red OP - you shouldn't pay the bill any more than I'd pay a bill from Madison WI.

mrkk said:   Revike said:   
It's legal because there is no doubt a city or county ordinance requiring a sewage account if a water account is active and stipulating that water service can be terminated if there is no sewage account.

you are right

http://info.sos.state.tx.us/pls/pub/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app...

(e) Disconnection of water service due to nonpayment of sewer charges.

Where I live in NY, water and sewer are provided by and billed by the town, and if you don't pay your bill, I think it can be the same as if you did not pay your property taxes.

We also pay for sewers as part of the town property tax (an itemized charge for the sewer district). And there are people who still don't have sewers that have been paying that charge for many years!

Skipping 6 Messages...
Crazytree said:   Unfortunately most posters here would never admit this... and OP only did it because he felt pretty smart about starting this thread.

You're right.. I knew something smelled funny about this thread.

Isn't this the sort of post you guys normally create alt ID's for?



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