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Hundreds of Turlock water customers have services disconnected on same day
water line
Hundreds of City of Turlock water and sewer customers line up outside City Hall on Tuesday after their services were disconnected due to nonpayment (Photo contributed).

A long line of Turlock residents could be seen stretching from City Hall down Broadway towards Main Street on Tuesday. The hundreds of people waiting to get into City Hall weren’t there to get an early seat for the evening’s City Council meeting, instead, they were all there to inquire about their water service.

According to Turlock City Manager Reagan Wilson, 1,300 City of Turlock water and sewer customers had their services disconnected on Tuesday. Wilson said that there has been a two-year “backlog” in the department regarding delinquent accounts that they have now rectified. All of the customers whose services were disconnected received a 30-day notice, according to Wilson.

“It’s time they paid their bills,” Wilson said.

One Turlock resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said she had no idea her water was scheduled to be disconnected on Tuesday. She said she woke up, went to wash her hands and had no water. The woman said she immediately went to her bank to find out if her automatic payments set up to pay her water bills had gone through and when they appeared in order, went to City Hall for answers. The elderly woman, who is disabled and uses a walker to get around, waited in the hot summer heat for two and half hours to talk with someone in the utilities department. When she was told they would not accept her bank statements brought up on her phone, but only print outs, she paid over $900 to get her water service turned back on.

According to Wilson, customers who had their services shut off could pay a $25 reconnection fee and set up a payment plan for the delinquent bills.

According to City of Turlock policy, delinquent accounts are defined as those which have unpaid balances 60 days after the due date. The City also has a dispute policy where residents can file a complaint pertaining to their bills. To file a dispute, the customer must submit a completed and signed Dispute Form to the City of Turlock within 10 days of the date they were “aggrieved.”

Customers can also contact the City of Turlock Finance Office at 209-668-5570. However, a number of customers on Tuesday said they tried calling, but the phones just kept ringing and no one answered.