Sandcroft to get special relief from NWC

February 24, 2017
Ernest Sandcroft shows his hefty water bill when he visited The Gleaner's North Street offices recently.
Charles Buchanan

The National Water Commission (NWC) is considering a 'special relief' for Ernest Sandcroft, the pensioner who was slapped with a bill for over $300,000 in January that caused him to almost faint, according to him.

"We have investigated this particular case and we are continuing those investigations, and with the given circumstances with regard to him being a pensioner and some other considerations, the NWC is considering to provide some special relief for this customer," public relations manager at the NWC, Charles Buchanan, said.

Sandcroft, whose story appeared in THE WEEKEND STAR last Wednesday, was elated when he got the news. "I want to thank THE STAR for pursuing this for me," the 72-year-old said.

Since the publication of Sandcroft's story, many persons have called the Gleaner's office complaining that they similarly have gotten unexplainably high water bills.

Buchanan, however, said that the NWC is obliged to stand by the reading on its meter.

"When that meter is established to be working properly, whether the reading is very low or very high, we are obliged to stand by that reading," Buchanan said. "The meter is the device that determines the usage in a period of about 30 days."

He said that records at the NWC indicate that there was a toilet leakage that caused Sandcroft's bill to spiral.

"In December, when we visited the premises, our representative identified that a toilet was leaking and indicated that to the customer," Buchanan said.

Sandcroft, however, refuted those claims, saying that he was told by the representative that there was no leakage.

"Since they have changed the meter, my bill has gone back down to less than $2,000, which is what it usually was and I haven't fixed the toilet," Sandcroft said.

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