In response to recent incidents of inflated water bills impacting residents of Damac Hills 2, Damac Properties has issued an advisory urging the community members to take preventive measures, especially when on vacation. The directive, prompted by inquiries from Khaleej Times, underscores the significance of closing water valves, electric breakers, and gas valves to curb the risk of escalating bills.
The advisory follows a series of unfortunate events where residents were startled by exorbitant water bills, some as high as Dh17,000. One recent case involves British resident Peter Spencer, who received a bill amounting to Dh4,327 for water consumption when he was away on vacation.
Spencer a resident of a villa, expressed astonishment at the staggering discrepancy in water usage, noting that his meter recorded an unprecedented consumption of 80,000 gallons within a span of just five days between December 26 and December 31. He remarked, “That’s 250 times my usual consumption of 60 gallons. The total for the leak was almost 80,000 gallons or 1 gallon every 5.5 seconds! I didn’t think water could flow so fast.”
Likewise, another resident, David Richard Spours, faced a comparable ordeal. Upon returning from a summer break, he was greeted with a Dewa bill totalling Dh20,179. The breakdown unveiled a significant portion (Dh16,992.38) attributed to water usage, originating from a leak in his garden during his absence.
The bill indicated that Spours had consumed 319,200 gallons of water, an amount that can fill nearly half of an Olympic swimming pool.
Spencer said that he could have broken that record if he had extended his vacation.
“Just like Mr Stroud, I live on DH2, and just like Mr Stroud the underground water tank ball valve failed,” said Spencer. “The whole valve and pipe snapped off, leaving the full mains water pressure to flood under the garden. I was also away on a holiday, fortunately a shorter one than Mr Stroud!”
Spencer said that had Dewa reached out to him, a neighbour who was regularly visiting the property could have shut off the water at the main stopcock. He explained, “They were unaware of the leak since it was hidden beneath the lawn and not visible.”
F. Abdulla, Mina Naguib S. Manerker, and W. Batidjia, along with several other Damac Hills 2 residents, have raised also concerns about water leaks on various community platforms in recent days. F. Abdulla, for instance has shared her experience of being charged Dh6,000 for one month.
Spencer suspects that unusually high pressure may have caused a pipe to split. He referenced DEWA’s guidelines for domestic water meter installation, stating that the maximum pressure at the meter should be 2 bar. “At the time of the burst, the pressure measured 5.5 bar, exceeding the recommended limit,” he said.
He highlighted that the regulatory document specifies the need for a Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV) before the meter, but no such valve seems to have been fitted.
He claimed that regulatory document specifies that a Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV) should be fitted before the meter. Spencer mentioned that no such valve appears to have been fitted.
Responding to Khaleej Times’ query on the matter, Damac said that although the water flooding began on December 26, Spencer reached out to them on December 31. Consequently, their Emergency Facilities Management Team promptly visited Spencer’s unit and discovered a malfunction in the float valve.
“The team closed the Dewa water valve to prevent further flooding as a containment action and then asked the resident to call a third-party contractor to fix the issue, since the resident’s Damac warranty is expired.”
Damac emphasised that they regularly communicate with residents, reminding them of annual maintenance and regular inspections to prevent unforeseen incidents. The developer said they also sends out repeated educational messages advising people to take precautionary measures before going on vacations, such as closing water valves, electric breakers, and gas valves.
Regarding resident David Richard Spour, Damac clarified that the issue was related to Dewa and not them.
Dewa, in turn, stated that they had alerted Spour twice and provided screenshots of the notifications sent to him. In an email to Khaleej Times Dewa said it sent a similar high water user alert to Spencer, urging him to promptly investigate and address any leakage to prevent additional losses.
Dewa said that such alerts are complimentary value-added services provided to customers. They clarified that their responsibility extends up to the water meter, and customers are accountable for any consumption recorded by the water meter, whether it results from usage or leakage.
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