Homeowner pays non-existant sewer bill for 12 years

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Heather Solomon mows her own yard and performs some of the maintenance around her Arlington home. Solomon is knowledgeable but was stunned to learn that her home is not and has never been connected to the JEA's sewer system.

"I've been paying for sewer since I moved in 2002," she said.

She discovered the problem after the drain from the washing machine started backing up; she called the JEA to see if there was a problem with the sewer line.

"A man came out and looked at it and said it it is not JEA," she said.

In disbelief she asked them to confirm because she has been paying the JEA.

"He called his my supervisor and came back and told me this whole block is not on JEA," said Solomon.

The fact is her home and all of the other homes in her Arlington community have a septic tank system.

"Why am I paying and when I signed up why didn't somebody see this," she asked.

She contacted the JEA for a refund, she feels she is entitled to on and they offered a partial refund.

"They said they could only reimburse me four years cause the statue only give them that much to give me back," said Solomon.

In May, JEA sent her the partial refund check of $1306 to cover four years of sewer charges, not twelve, but Solomon wants all of what she paid the utility for a service she did not receive.

"My desire is to get the money that I paid plus the interest that they got from it," said Solomon.

After we contacted the JEA spokesperson Gerri Boyce said the utility is going to refund an additional year of sewer charges based on the Florida Statute of Limitations, which is five years.

"This is a rare and unique situation," said Boyce. "The customer may request a hearing with the office of general counsel to appeal the decision."

Boyce said the JEA strives for accurate billing so now they're looking into this case to determine how in the world did this happen in the first place.


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