July 23, 2014 7:54 pm

City of Winnipeg starts to credit winter water bills

WINNIPEG – Thousands of Winnipeg homeowners could potentially get a shock from their water bills.

Wayne Tefs has been running a tap at his house for close to six months so his pipes don’t freeze.

So when Tefs got his latest water bill for $377, he simply ignored it.

“We just ignore it, both the city and I just ignore it, and they occasionally send me a letter saying don’t freak out, we know your bill is really high, don’t freak out,” said Tefs.

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Other Winnipeggers are freaking out after their adjusted water bills approached $1,000.

“Well they’re saying I still owe $928 and that’s after a $300 payment and a $720 credit, so I’m a little shocked by the amount we have to come up with,” said homeowner Gordon MacGregor.

McGregor and Tefs were told by the city to pay the same amount they were billed before running a tap to prevent frozen pipes — something the city has been telling more than 10,000 other Winnipeggers to do.

“I’m just waiting to hear from the city about what they’re going to do about the rest of the amount. That’s a little outrageous,” said MacGregor.

The city will credit your water bill to a maximum of 1,500 litres, equal to about $5.45 per day or $500 per quarter.

The city insists accounts will be adjusted when the Waste and Water Department gets a water meter reading. But with thousands of accounts to review, it could take two months before bills go back to normal.

“For those caught off guard I think there could have been a bigger effort to try to explain to them how it’s going to work when they were asked to turn their taps on,” said Mynarski Coun. Ross Eadie.

Winnipeggers can expect to see adjustments made to their accounts starting next month, city officials said.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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