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Fiji Time: 11:35 PM on Wednesday 23 April

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Exorbitant water charges

Nasik Swami
Saturday, December 08, 2012

SOME Water Authority of Fiji customers are concerned about what they claim are sudden increases in their water bills.

WAF media official Fulori Turaga said the increases were due to the transfer of arrears from previously disconnected meter accounts to active accounts on the same premises.

Ms Turaga said the transfer is part of WAF's arrears recovery process by vigorously pursuing customers who have been evading their arrears through various means.

"Some customers are deviously applying for new meters or property owners who purchase new properties with multiple water meters and where water debts from previously disconnected meters were not disclosed by the previous owners during settlement," she said.

"The new owner had unfortunately inherited the debt and now liable for its clearance," she said.

Ms Turaga said new owners must ensure the special reading/billing which is a paid service must be conducted to determine water debts on the premises during settlement period.

"Under the WAF promulgation and relevant subsidiary legislation, water debt remains charged on the premises until cleared by the owner of the property.

"Customers have been notified about this in the last three years ever since WAF was established through public notices and advertisements in the papers."

She said another reason some customers received high water bills could be because of leakage in their service pipes or arrears from a meter being transferred to an existing meter on the same property.

Frustrated WAF customer, Arti Devi of Nausori, said she never had any outstanding arrears.

"Our bills have always been paid on time," she said.

"We don't have any overdue, neither do we have any other meters anywhere except the one we are using.

"Yet, our bills show two sets of current charges. One is $7.55 for our current bill and we have no idea what the other is for which exceeds the amount of bill that we ever receive."

Ms Devi said their meter was the one they've been using for years and had no leakages as well.

"We fail to understand how or why we are being billed for something that we shouldn't be," she said.