HARLINGEN — Dead-beat water customers drove them to it.
Harlingen WaterWorks System officials said yesterday that financial losses they were incurring due to final bills not being covered by initial deposits forced them to triple the cost of deposits from $50 to $150.
Those losses have been significant. Since 1997, officials said, the city-owned utility has lost $1.17 million due to customers quitting without fully paying their final bill. In 2015, losses totaled $83,433.32.
“The last deposit increase was in 1987, almost 30 years ago,” Nilda Sanchez, administrative assistant at Harlingen Water-Works, said yesterday.
“Since then, bills have increased, and the out-dated security deposits have not been sufficient to cover the final bill. If people owe $100 and the deposit was $50, we were having to write that off as a loss at the end of the year.”
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– Water customers: 25,900
– Sewer customers: 19,000
– Total Treatment Capacity: 27 million gallons/day
– Average Water Treated: 10 million gallons/day
– Total Water Reclaimed: 2,400 Acre Feet or 782,042,400 gallons
– Total Water Treated in one year: 5.16 billion gallons
– Total miles of water lines: 455
– Total miles of sewer lines: 253
– Total fire hydrants: 2,002
Source: Harlingen WaterWorks