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$11,570 water bill for 13 days
City of Manteca quickly corrects computer error
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Glenn Page, the owner of a rental home on Muir Court, was shocked this week after longtime renters moved out and he received a water bill from the City of Manteca for $11,570.20. - photo by GLENN KAHL

You can bet Glenn Page is being careful these days with using water after getting an $11,570.20 water bill from the City of Manteca.

The bill was for rental property Page owns in the 1100 block of Muir Court. City Finance Director Suzanne Mallory said the charges were a mistake and the bill would be cancelled after its review and another showing the true amount due would be issued to him.

Mallory confirmed Tuesday afternoon that the actual water portion of his bill for the past 13 days would include the base rate of some $17 and the very small amount of usage at the vacant three bedroom home – totaling just under $20 – not the $11,622.76 in charges Page saw when he opened the envelope in his mail this week.

Mallory said the majority of the 18,000 water customers’ meters are read electronically with the usage transmitted to the city offices.  She explained that those bills are routinely checked for computer mistakes. However, the Page bill somehow made its way into the mail.

“I told the lady at the city that if I used that much water my house would be on pontoons after she asked me if this was a commercial property,” Page quipped.

He quoted his wife Lois as saying, “I hope that this is a mistake!”

“This is dehydrated water.  If I used this much water, I would have to get some goats in there to keep the lawn cut,” he added in jest.   He noted that his renters,  who had been in the home for the past 16 years,  had a water bill of only $34.01 when they started renting.

Page had worked up a little math to support his case with the city.  He figured that the bill based on 13 days represented a water use of 33,853 gallons per day.  That would require using  water for 312 hours at the rate of 1,411 gallons of water per hour. 

Page came to Manteca years ago as the general manager of Dana Corporation in Manteca’s Industrial Park on South Main Street just north of the Highway 120 Bypass.