I’ve been watching with interest recently all the issues surrounding IWD, but it finally hit home last month when I received my water bill for $433 after my usual bill of $40 to $60. This bill was the highest IWD bill I’ve ever received in three years and more than double my next highest bill.

I immediately called IWD and explained my concern regarding my bill, and was assured they would send someone out to do a “re-read” of my meter. Later that afternoon, I received a call back from an IWD representative and was told my bill was correct and I must have a leak.

The following weekend, I made a trip to my Idyllwild home to take a look at the meter myself as I’d never looked inside the meter box in the three years I’ve owned my home. I was a little shocked to find that my meter was below 6 inches of compacted dirt, which obviously had never been looked at by anyone.

The following Monday, I called IWD and asked what the process was when someone asked to have their meter reread. I was told that instead of scanning the sensor, they do a physical reading of the meter.

I explained to the representative that obviously, no one physically re-read the meter and that with a $400-plus water bill, I deserved a little more care and interest from my water provider.

I was put on hold for a few minutes and then told someone would go out “right away” and read the meter. An hour later, I was called back and told the meter was correct and my bill was trending to be the same this month. Hmm.

In good faith, I paid my bill, but IWD, through its own behavior and lack of concern for its customers, has created a situation of doubt and uncertainty.

The recent article regarding faulty water meters has only contributed to my doubts as to how they’re managing their affairs.

I still find it hard to believe my monthly water bill went from $60 to $433 in one month (and yes, we’ve done a complete check of our system).

My question to IWD is: Where do I go now, whom do I trust to know my readings are accurate and what happens in the coming months when my bills return to their historical average? How will IWD explain that?

Jeff Chojnacki

Los Angeles