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Homeowner receives watering violation before violation date

SAN ANTONIO - A San Antonio homeowner got a watering violation notice from SAWS claiming he had been observed watering on the wrong day at the wrong time on Aug. 18.

Memo Cordova said if you look closely at the postmark on the envelope, Aug. 15 and you read the violation date on the letter, Aug. 18, it's clear something is amiss on their end.

"If I pay the fine, I'm feeling like I'm guilty and I'm not guilty," Cordova said.

When he called the SAWS customer service agent to explain what happened, Cordova was told he would be getting a second notice, an official summons to either appear in court or pay the ticket.

"They apologized first thing. They told me our system is screwed up," Cordova said.

SAWS spokeswoman Anne Hayden investigated the incident and found the officer's notes did reveal Cordova's irrigation system was in use at 6:28 a.m. on Aug. 8, not Aug. 18 as the letter stated.

The computer pulled the wrong date and according to Hayden, it happened to 172 other SAWS customers as well.

"The letters that were sent out pulled the correct address, the correct person, citation, correct warning, but pulled the wrong date field, so these went out and unfortunately it was confusing to people," Hayden said.

SAWS is in the process of sending out correction notices with their apologies for the confusion.

Despite the mix-up, Cordova will be held responsible for the ticket because according to Hayden, the officer's notes show his irrigation system was in use at the wrong time, on the wrong day.


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