During any rough economic period, theft of all kinds tends to spike. Apart from big screen TVs, some thieves have their eye on a somewhat more practical prize––your water faucet.Water theft ranges from the seemingly harmless neighbour borrowing your hose to water his garden at night to full-fledged crooks who pilfer thousands of gallons at the owner’s expense.
Florida resident Cynthia Barrington is on the hook for a $2,500 water bill at a Cape Canaveral home she inherited from family this summer.
While the home sat unoccupied, someone made off with 186,000 gallons of water, she told WFTV, enough to fill nearly 20 swimming pools. And when the city found her water meter to be in proper working order, she wound up fronting the entire bill.
A similar situation occurred in Monterey, Calif. when a former San Francisco 49ers coach’s wife found a $5,000 bill for supposedly using 84,000 gallons of water. She was living alone at the time.
Apart from asking relatives or friends to check on property left unattended, the simplest way to prevent water theft is to invest in locks for all your outdoor spigots.
Just about every lock in the top 10 results on Amazon.com can be purchased for under $20.
Like Barrington, it’s worth appealing to your water department if you feel you’ve been hit with a substantially high bill. Some cities set aside funds for homeowners struggling to pay inflated bills, though sometimes it can take months to resolve erroneous utility bills.