Reduced flow for those who don’t pay
AlburyCity is cracking down on customers who don't pay their water bills in a bid to reclaim around $1M in outstanding accounts.
Starting next month, council officers will begin installing water flow restrictors on properties where there is a significant amount owing, severely restricting flow to just two litres a minute.
AlburyCity Mayor Kevin Mack concedes it's drastic action, but says all other efforts to recover the outstanding accounts haven't worked.
"We've got 484 customers who each owe more than $600 in unpaid water accounts and we simply can't write this off. We've exhausted all avenues, including debt recovery".
Households with a flow restrictor will still be able to fill a glass of water, flush toilets and have enough water for cooking; however some appliances such as dishwashers won't work.
Mayor Mack says it's disappointing that Council has been forced to take such action and he has appealed to those with large amounts outstanding to pay-up, or talk to Council's customer service team about a payment plan. He says customers experiencing financial hardship and who have made arrangements to pay and are meeting those arrangements may not be subject to a flow restrictor.
Households identified for a flow restrictor will have received their latest water bill, a reminder notice, a final notice and will shortly receive an 'intent to restrict' notice. They'll have 14 days to pay-up or to make a suitable payment arrangement. If no payment is forthcoming, flow restrictors will be installed along with an additional fee of $133.50.
Flow restrictors will be removed when outstanding balances have been paid in full and this will be undertaken by a qualified technician.