After Daniel Whitfield lost his job, his family began to run low on food and let the water bill go for a couple months. He owed more than $ 800 to the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority when his water was cut off.
“I caught up half way,” Whitfield said. “They came and put the meter back in, and then when we decided we couldn’t catch up on this amount the Cape Fear guys kept coming out here taking the meter, putting it back in, back and forth, back and forth, so I said just turn that account into collections, and we’ll open up another account.”
Whitfield says his water was shut on and off at least ten times, and each time someone from the
CFPUA came out he was charged $ 50.
When he began receiving unemployment benefits, he tried to clear his debt. “I tried to pay the bill, and they wouldn’t take the money,” Whitfield explained. “The manager in the billing department said he will not take payment from me. I said, ‘this is the time I’ve been waiting on. I’ve got my unemployment, and I’m ready to pay you. We need water in this house’.”
Whitfield says CFPUA also said it would not take the money because he was being investigated for allegedly tampering with the water meter by turning the water back on himself. Whitfield says he had the water legally through a different account in his girlfriend’s name.
Regardless he faces a possible arrest for something he believes is just a giant misunderstanding. Right now his only worry is not having water.