NEW ORLEANS -- Lesley Poche and her husband have built several houses in New Orleans, and this one, their latest, is nearly finished.
They need to sell it, but when they emailed me, they didn't have water service. The faucets were dry.
"I'm trying to build a beautiful home for a new resident," said Lesley. "I'm investing time and money in the city of New Orleans, and this is what I get."
She signed up at the Sewerage & Water Board in November, and a water meter was placed in the box on the property before Thanksgiving.
But two months later, she reached down into the hole and pulled out the meter to show me it was never connected.
"What is it gonna take to get this hooked up?" Poche asked. "And they're charging me, for the meter, for this. For what? For me to come and play with it, to hold it? Oh look, it's pretty and gold."
But getting water for the construction crew required hauling in five gallon buckets.
"It's like living in the 19th century, hauling water by hand in a bucket, because I can't get the Sewerage and Water Board to come out and hook up my meter."
I contacted water board, asked them to get the meter installed, and to do it quickly. Well, they came out, but not here, they moved the meter, and installed it over here. But now it is installed."
"Yesterday evening we had water," Poche said with a smile. "What's going through your mind? I'm pretty excited that I have water."
But she wasn't excited to receive two bills totaling $55 for water service and sewage fees.
"I don't quite understand how I'm being charged for water and sewer if I don't have water flowing through the pipes."
And the bill claims the meter was read.