Can a water company give you a charge without reading the meter? 3 Answers as of December 17, 2013

We are being charged $145.00 for our water. Saying we used 9 thousand gallons of water. We have only used 6570. I called and was told its our responsibility to have the gate unlocked. We have a gate up, due to the fact we have a dangerous dog breed. They should be able to knock on the door to come through our house to read the meter. Because our meter is in the back yard which is completely fenced in. No gate at all. But even if we were to put a gate up, wouldn't this be considered trespassing anyways? This is about a water company. They are charging us for water we have not used. This can't be legal. They're stating they can because they aren't able to get to our meter in the back yard. I need to know, can we fight this case? If it is illegal to come on our property anytime they want? Especially if we have no trespassing signs? Or is it legal?

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IT Forensics, Inc.
IT Forensics, Inc. | Christopher K. Steuart
You probably signed a consent to access for the meter reader when you accepted water service. It is not trespass and you are denying them access to the meter. The information you have provided is inconsistent, you state that you have a gate up and a few lines later you say there is no gate. Your statement that this can't be legal is a conclusion not a fact. Your denial of access to the meter probably justifies charging you for historical average consumption. Your having a dangerous animal does not justify denying the water company access to the meter. You may want to arrange to have your meter relocated to a more accessible location (almost certainly going to be at your expense).
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 12/17/2013
Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
They can charge an estimated amount and if you can prove that the amount is incorrect, then the bill should be adjusted.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 12/17/2013
Ascheman & Smith | Landon Ascheman
It is generally legal, by using the water, you authorize the public service to come on to your land to check the usage meter.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 12/17/2013
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