Mystery water bill forgiven by City of Parksville

Parksville staff still don't know how resident got billed for almost 20 times the average

The mystery of the missing water hasn’t been solved, but Parksville council unanimously decided not to charge a resident for over half a million litres.

John Whitehouse told council the story of his 77-year-old mother’s extraordinary water bill at the Sept. 27 meeting.

Staff confirmed the details of the $1,900 invoice for 541 cubic metres (541,000 litres) of water — almost 20 times average usage — for a billing period that his mother mostly spent in the hospital and a retirement facility.

Whitehouse and staff checked for leaks and re-checked the meter and all the numbers, but no answers were ever discovered.

With proper documentation of his mother’s absence provided, council decided to treat the anomaly like a leak — only charging the resident the average from the previous three year’s usage.