What’s behind the new $3 ‘leak’ fee?

I have received the Fayette County Water System notice about the Excessive Leak Protection Program and am writing to insist on a public unveiling of supporting data for this new fee.

It seems to me that $3 per month per household is an excessive amount to cover their losses for leaks in residential plumbing.

Depending on the source, I found that there are between 31,000 and 38,000 private residences in Fayette County. If you use 35,000 homes for an average, that works out to $105,900 per month that Fayette Water gains from this program. Using an average of $3 per thousand gallons, $105,000 equates to 35 million gallons.

Unless I’ve got my math all wrong, I find it hard to believe that they are losing that much water per month to inadvertent leaks on private property.

I don’t believe $3 per month is a budget breaker for most of Fayette County residents, and I think Fayette Water should be able to recoup its costs for lost water, but I don’t think this idea should be used to generate profit.

This plan should be substantiated to us customers with the appropriate data and used only to offset this problem.

Speaking of profit, I would also like to offer the idea of charging for using LESS water since we have been in a water restriction mode for some years now. Instead, I am charged a “minimum amount” of $18.48 for 2,000 gallons no matter how little water I use, and my sewage charge is also based on the 2,000 gallon minimum usage.

Being a single retiree and conscientious about conservation, I often use less than 2,000 gallons per month because I am frugal with water, but no matter, I still get charged as though I used the full 2,000 gallons.

What if they encouraged water conservation by rewarding us frugal customers by charging less for using less? This isn’t exactly a novel idea and might cause more people to try to use less water which in drought periods would be to everyone’s advantage.

Hugh B. Fulton Jr.
Peachtree City, Ga.

wxman's picture
Joined: 02/15/2010
Kind of like phone line insurance..

The leak fee is kind of like when the phone company sold insurance on phone lines inside your home, or renting a phone. You paid a small amount for insurance on a problem that most likely will never occur.
The chances of having a catastrophic water loss in excess of the $36 a year you pay in is not worth it. The kicker is that this insurance doesn't ELIMINATE your costs in an event but only REDUCES your out of pocket.
Its a play on the fear of the unknown. But simple statistics will make you feel better.
If they charged a one time fee of $36 every year rather than the installment plan, there would be a lot fewer that would accept the insurance. "Its only a couple of bucks a month".
And that is all you need to know.

AtHomeGym's picture
Joined: 01/18/2007
FC Water System Leak Policy

Think your nrs are suspect because you don't take into acct how many of us are on well water and have zero to do with the Water System!

PTC Observer
PTC Observer's picture
Joined: 04/23/2007
Water Leaks in Fayette County

Here's the policy now in place, it's basically insurance that you can opt out of if you desire. I think this was the policy before but now you will have to pay an insurance premium of $3 per month to get your charges reduced in the event of a major leak. I believe they will make money off of it.

It is so much like commercial insurance I would think the Public Service Commission would have to approve it. Maybe they did, who knows?

So, it's up to you. Do you feel lucky pal?


Husband and Fat...
Husband and Father of 2's picture
Joined: 07/23/2012
PTCO - Water Leks

I'm going to pay for this insurance. My home is 20 years old, so things are bound to happen.

I wonder about a few things though.

What is the true cost for a gallon of water?

Can they calculate how much water is actually wasted each year?

Do all our costs go to the water dept or does some get diverted? (There was an article in the AJC last week about how Cobb County diverts some of their water fees into the general fund to cover administration costs.

Recent Comments