The 3 Phase Recovery Process


Manufactured housing communities are regularly over billed for sewer service due to faulty measuring practices used by utility companies. The three most common instances of over billing occur when:

  1. The sewer bill is based on the community master water meter and there is a leak in the distribution system.
  2. Sewer volume is based on a float pump time meter and debris plugs the pipe causing the pump to run on and on without actually moving sewage into the system.
  3. Ground water and storm water enter the sewer system, contributing to volume but requiring far less processing by the utility.

Chronic over billing may be costing you far more than you should be paying. You may be entitled to a substantial credit from your utility. As most states have a statute of limitations of up to 6 years for the recovery of over billing, a settlement can run in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Utilizing an effective three phase process, ABT Water Management’s Recovery Service can help you determine:

– How much are you owed?
– Which tests and fixes can you implement to verify and repair sources of infiltration and inflow?
– What information will be required for ABT to present a thorough and convincing argument to the utility to obtain the maximum credit possible?

Phase I Evaluation
ABT begins by conducting an investigation of both the community and the utility’s practices for bill computation. This includes reviewing the current metering equipment and reading methodology. We compare water and sewer system activity presented by the utility against the submeter usage of tenants. We conduct interviews to determine the sewer system’s construction, community maintenance practices, topographical features, geographical conditions and other factors that affect whether any recovery is due and the potential range you can expect. The cost for Phase I is $1,500.00.

Phase II Determination
Using the information gained in Phase I, ABT will develop a plan comprised of specific tests and fixes you can implement to reduce inflow and infiltration issues in the short term and strengthen your recovery claim in the long term. The cost for Phase II is an hourly consulting rate of $150.00 plus materials and labor required. Labor and materials may be supplied by the community or by ABT if needed. ABT is happy to quote labor and material upon request.

Phase III Recovery
With the evidence in hand, ABT will meet with your utility to make the strongest possible case for recovery. ABT will zealously advocate your claim, navigating the bureaucratic, political, and legal red tape to recover the money you are owed and change the utility’s faulty methodology to prevent future over billing. The cost for Phase III is paid on a contingency basis of 33.3% of the recovery or 40% if outside counsel is required.
Utilities never issue large credits without resistance. Attorneys are often rebuffed due to their lack of utility functional knowledge. Owners often settle for “go away” offers of less than 10% of the potential recovery. ABT is uniquely qualified to get a fair settlement because of our 25 years of experience both operating in support of private utilities and dealing with municipal utilities