Bureaucracy

Failing the Test

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Officials in Sarasota County, Florida, have agreed to refund $557,000 to water customers for testing they were charged for that was never performed. Jay Bowman was looking for the tag that showed his backflow valve, which prevents water from flowing back into the main, had been tested. He couldn't find it. Then he started looking at other homes in the neighborhood and found that many others didn't have a tag and called the utility. Officials blame a computer glitch for the lack of testing.

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