DEP Hosts Local Meeting To Advise Homeowners On Water Use
By Dara Mormile
In light of increasing water bill rates, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), in collaboration with City Councilman Lew Fidler, hosted a special outreach forum Monday evening that educated homeowners about conservation methods in addition to answering questions about their accounts.
"The most common problem customers have is they don't understand why their bills are so high," said customer service representative Linda Frazier. "They also don't realize the breakdown of all the fees and they have a lot of disputes about payments.
"Sometimes their meters aren't working right and they also don't understand what they're being charged for. If customers have a complaint, they can bring their tickets here and we'll go over their account to show them the breakdown of all the fees - including all water and sewage usage."
Frazier added that some customers' water bills are based on the structure of their homes and others are based on meter usage.
DEP inspector Steven Wallace signed up residents for self-installing water conservation kits.
"The kit includes shower and sink faucets which hold back pressure and saves water, which in turn decreases the amount of water you use," he said. "There are a lot of small measures you can take to lower your water bill, you just have to be willing to take them."
Robert Premosch, another inspector with the DEP, was on hand to show homeowners how to locate and read water meters.
"We have models of old meters and new meters," Premosch said. "I'll show residents how to read whichever one they have in their homes so they can better understand what we're looking at when we come to their home."
Deputy DEP commissioner Joseph Singleton Jr. said he is proud to bring this public service to the community. "Hopefully, bill disputes will get resolved and our customers will get a better idea of how the system works. We're going to bring this event to the community on a regular basis because it's easier for us to come to this type of forum."
Filder thanked DEP officials, saying he appreciates their cooperation and availability.
The event, which took place at the Hebrew Educational Society on East 95 Street and Seaview Avenue, was sponsored by the Department for the Aging, Housing and Preservation Development and the City Of New York Department of Finance.