In the East Texas region of Palestine, Texas, a huge horrible mistake has thrown Gilmer Parrish and his wife for a whirlwind loop. Mr. Parrish is 98 years young and is unable to walk since having a stroke some years ago. Well this month he received a water bill from The Norwood Water Company for exactly $7696.24. You can imagine the sticker shock when he opened this bill and he and his wife are baffled at how it could have escalated to such amount. And I am just as baffled about this situation as they are and I’m only a spectator.
The Parrish’s own 47 acres of land with some cows, 2 horses and 1 donkey. But Mr. Parrish said there’s no water from the main line where a trough used to be, it’s all dry land. The Norwood Water Company stated that in just one month the Parrish’s used nearly 700,000 gallons of water on their Palestine property. But normally their water bill would run about $30 a month, which sounds right for just the two of them and being in the rural part of Palestine. But to jump from $30 to $7000, is totally outlandish! Now even I can’t see how an elderly couple could possibly use so much water within 31 days. And Mr. Parrish himself said that there’s no way he could have used that much water and if he did so, then where could it have all gone because there’s no gully running through his land.
Well, unfortunately, the water company turned off their water until the bill is paid in full. Let’s do some brainstorming: first of all an Olympic-size pool usually holds 100,000 gallons of water, whereas an apartment, hotel, or health club pool may contain only 10,000 to 15,000 gallons, and spa pools or hot tubs only hold 1,000 gallons (so this 700,000 amount is equal to 7 Olympic-size pools). Now the water utilities company send meter readers out to read the meters every month; when they return to the water company with the readings I’m sure someone keys them into a computer system in order to generate the bill for the following month; if you or I were a meter reader or the one who keyed the readings into the system every month, wouldn’t we think something was wrong with this 700,000 gallon usage which equaled out to be $7000 for a residential water bill? And wouldn’t we bring this to a supervisor’s attention or someone else in authority that this just didn’t seem to make sense? I believe someone in The Norwood Water Supply could have addressed this issue with Mr. Parrish before sending him that outrageous bill.
I feel for this couple because I’m sure they’re on a fixed income and make adjustments for daily living expense increases but this is just way beyond their adjustment control abilities. Well, get this, the water company explains that somewhere on his property a pipeline broke and water was just running for 30 days straight which amounted to the huge water bill. This whole incident has upset Mr. Parrish so that he said his nerves and health are feeling the effects of it because he imagines that Norwood Water will sue over the bill but he’ll turn around and sue right back. They claim the bill will have to stand and they would be willing to set up a payment plan. Can you imagine being on a $7000 water bill payment plan, in my opinion, that’s just plain ridiculous. And Mr. Parrish stated that they shouldn’t hold their breath on that and that they’re a horse’s behind. (smile) He did pay $500 towards the bill and said he has another water meter so he can at least water his animals.
I pray that they are somehow blessed to pay this massive bill off without having to settle with last resorts not in their favor.
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