U.S. Water News Online
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- People stealing water from the
Birmingham water system could find meter readers on their trail soon.
Under a new program, water meter readers will receive $10 to $20
for finding and reporting each illegal meter. The Birmingham Water
Works began its crackdown after finding more cases of people tapping
into the system without paying for it.
The system reported more than 200 cases of illegal water hookups
last month, and more are suspected to exist. In one recent case an
entire apartment building was running on stolen water, officials
The Water Works Board has approved an incentive plan encouraging
its 28 meter readers to find and report meter tampering and water
The utility reports 26 percent of the water it produces is lost;
the national standard is 15 percent.
"We're going to do everything we can to eradicate this problem,"
said Water Board Chairman Anthony Barnes.
Officials said meters at abandoned houses or homes with
disconnected service can be tampered with to obtain free water.
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