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.
“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
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
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.