THE RESPONSE to the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) 92-day amnesty has been "encouraging" so far and they expect more than 2,000 people to regularise their status, said WASA head of corporate communications Ellen Lewis.
She informed the Express that for people with illegal connections WASA is currently engaged in a community-based house to house survey exercise "to determine the extent of the problem."
"We are hoping such persons will take advantage of the 92-day amnesty, which began July 1, before its expiration in September, thus avoiding the $3,648 retroactive penalty, which represents three-year billings," she added.
Lewis noted that this was the third consecutive year of the amnesty programme "when we offer a unique opportunity to persons to regularise their user and billing status". She reported that for the 2011 amnesty 2,000 people with illegal connections came in and had their status regularised.
She added: "But this year we anticipate a greater number of new customers entering the system when we put to use the information being gathered from the survey".
The amnesty applies to customers/persons falling in any of the following categories:
• Persons with illegal connections — persons who have an existing water service connection but who are not registered as customers of the Authority.
• Customers with unregistered swimming pools — customers who have swimming pools but have not indicated the existence of same to the Authority.
• Customers who are VAT registered — customers who conduct a VAT-registered business and are currently classified as a residential customer.
• Customers classified as (A2) yard/building tap who now have internal plumbing and have failed to notify the Authority.
Lewis noted that in addition to the 2,000 new customers entering the system last year, 500 customers with swimming pools had their rates/ billings adjusted accordingly.
"Persons who fail to take advantage of the amnesty are warned that WASA will be imposing the penalty, its legal options will be pursued and an aggressive disconnection drive will be undertaken targeting such persons who failed to exploit the opportunity as presented," Lewis stressed.