Is the Chicago Department of Water Overcharging Your Condo Association?
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Here at Haus Financial Services, LLC we keep a close eye on our clients' water bills. Your water bill can be one of your largest common expenses, and unfortunately the DOW isn't always accurate. One client received a bill for $11,704.22 that was clearly inaccurate. The DOW eventually issued a credit of $11,327.18 but needless to say, the bill caused quite a bit of stress in the meantime.

Broken meters and billing errors can result in outrageously large bills. For this reason, we also recommend that clients do not put their water bill on autopay. You should receive your bi-monthly bill via mail or email and review it for the following before making payment:

  1. Unreasonable charges. Bills that are inflated beyond what is usual for your building mean something isn't right. This could mean a broken water meter or a potential leak. The sooner you can address the issue, the sooner it can be resolved. Leaks can create huge water bills, and you must pay for all of the water you use even if it is unintentional.
  2. Estimated readings. An estimated reading means the DOW hasn't taken a reading of your actual water usage, and they may be overestimating. This could also be the result of a broken meter. Call the DOW and ask for a current Actual reading and an updated bill to ensure that you aren't overpaying and that your meter is working properly.

Water is not inexpensive and rates continue to rise annually. Keep an eye on bills and avoid overpaying for what you use.