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Troubleshooters: Numbers don’t add up in Hennepin water dispute

In this week’s TroubleShooters, a Putnam County man finds himself sinking just to keep up with his water bill.

A second look at his bills found a number of flaws.

The water company adjusted those totals.

However the homeowner is not convinced the final figures all add up.

Dan Newsome calls Hennepin home, working hard to ensure he and his son have running water.

His water bills were more than $200 a month at one point.

Faced with a number of service disconnection notices, the high prices to him, were just not adding up.

“That’s when I asked them to come and send someone from the water department to come and check the house and find out exactly why my water bill was so high.”

Both Newsome and the Hennepin Public Water District were shocked with the results.

“When they came and checked it, they realized I didn’t have a water meter. So, where these water meters readings were coming from, no one seems to know. They’re worried about trying to figure out where they come from instead of what they overcharged me.”

On top of that, his bills were addressed to 212 East Vine Street, the wrong address.

“The restaurant next door is 212, but when I talk to them and look at their bills, they don’t coincide with the rate that I have on this one either.”

The water company eventually placed a meter in his basement, also awarding him credit for his past balances.

“They installed the water meter last month finally. Up until now all I’ve asked for is to be reimbursed the amount of money I’ve paid, over and above the minimum. They’re charging me a metered rate when I don’t have a meter. I don’t know why that would be so difficult of a thing to ask for.”

Hennepin Public Water District says with the adjusted credit, Newsome actually paid less than the minimum amount for his water bill.

From the utility company’s perspective, they’re calling it even.

Newsome still doesn’t understand how they can calculate what he owed.

“They’re all metered rated numbers, obviously we didn’t have a meter so I don’t know what that really means for having a meter rating. They’re saying that over the period of time that they’ve basically reimbursed me for everything that I’ve paid over and above the minimum. And you don’t believe that?  And I don’t believe that!”

Since the installation of the new meter, Newsome says he’s barely exceeded the minimum usage of water per month, in the end he has one simple request.

“I would like them to go through my bill for the past four years and everything I’ve paid over and above the minimum is all I’m asking for to be returned.”

The Hennepin Public Water District did invite Newsome to their monthly board meeting to discuss his concerns.

The company says the adjusted numbers are accurate and hopes both sides can come to an agreement on the issue.



If you want to get in touch with the Troubleshooters call 309-968-3737 or email

Donnie Tillman

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