Chesterton Tribune



Utility: Water company shutting off customers' water mistakenly

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At least five customers of the Chesterton Utility had their water service mistakenly shut off on Monday by Indiana-American Water Company (IAWC), despite the fact that their Utility accounts were not delinquent.

In fact, as Utility Superintendent Terry Atherton reported to the Town Council at its meeting Monday night, one of the customers in question actually has a $700 credit.

It is normal practice for IAWC to shut off the service of delinquent Utility customers, following a notification period and at the Utility’s request. But in these five cases, the Utility made no such request. There was no reason to. None of the five customers is delinquent.

“We’re working with Indiana-American to resolve this on a case-by-case basis,” Atherton said.

Does IAWC “understand they have an issue?” asked Member Jim Ton, R-1st.

IAWC does appear to understand, Atherton said, although the Utility is working with the IAWC accounts department located in faraway Alton, Ill. “We’re hearing it’s a computer glitch.”

Any Utility customer whose water service is mistakenly shut off by IAWC should contact the Utility immediately at 926-1032, Atherton said. “We will continue to work in our customers’ best interests.”

“We’re sorry for the people caught in that web, having their water shut off even though they don’t owe anything,” Ton said. “We’re regretful, even though it’s not our fault.”

The Utility calculates a customer’s sanitary-sewer bill based on the household’s or business’ water consumption, as measured by IAWC. As a practical matter, the Utility cannot “shut off” sewage treatment service to a long delinquent customer. It can, however, arrange for IAWC to shut off that delinquent customer’s water service and it regularly does so.


Posted 3/11/2014




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