$9000 Water Bill: Woman Goes Head-to-Head with Water Company

By: WebProNews Staff - June 28, 2012

A $9000 water bill would more than likely force me to consider alternate means of indoor plumbing. That’s probably something Atlanta, Georgia resident Blayne Beacham should look into after clashing with her water company over an insanely bloated bill that has blossomed to outrageous proportions since the problem began last year.

Beacham, who owns a three-bedroom cottage in the Buckhead area of city, had gotten used to paying her $100 water bill over the years. However, when she received a statement for $497 last July, she assumed it was a clerical error. Concerned that something might be seriously amiss, Beacham contacted her water company in order to address the issue. Unfortunately, they claimed there was absolutely nothing wrong with the bill, and, as a result, she was responsible for the entire amount.

As the year progressed, the amount of her water bill began to inflate in a most unnatural manner. By December, Watershed Management stated that she owned a whopping $758. By April, her bill has risen to an astounding $2585. Thinking that she had a leak in her somewhere in her cottage, Beacham hired an inspecter to have a look at her property. According to the specialist, everything was a-okay, indicating that something must have gone wrong at the water company.

“We called the water department and worked out an agreement where I would pay them $120 a month until I could get a court date,” she explained.

Although the previous amounts were pretty insane by anyone’s standards, particularly for a simple three-bedroom cottage, nothing could readily prepare Beacham for her June bill. The total amount due: $9,000. According to the statement, $2,638.68 was from previous invoices and $6,705.72 were brand new charges.

Watershed Management claims they are looking into the matter, and plan to investigate the water usage meter they installed at Beacham’s home. However, since the cycle doesn’t end until July, she still has a while to wait until she knows whether or not she’s stuck with the entire bill.

WebProNews Staff

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  • Caryn

    I used to work in for a utility in business construction and building. You would be surprised how often there is a leak or a problem on the customers side that goes unnoticed and/or untreated until there is a real impact on the wallet.

    Things like a washer that runs water all day, or a HVAC system that runs the heating coil simultaneously with AC. She should contact her utility and see if they have a conservation expert. They are usually trained in detecting problems across several areas where as a plumber is looking strictly and the “nuts and bolts” of the house.

  • Michael

    I used to work for a water company and it was always the customer’s fault until it wasn’t. Then it was the water company’s problem for a long, long time.

  • mrs .J

    Please provide the phone # an email address of the employee at the water company who, if they received the same bill, would understand, accept and pay. There are a number of us who still don’t understand how we manage to consume the amount of water we pay for. This employee should set up a hot line.

  • Gary

    Don’t over think this. If you close all house valves then the meter
    will not move or spin. If it does you have a leak. If it doesn’t the the counter is bad. Replace meter…..

  • Greg

    I’ve heard of constantly running toilets being responsible for this type of bill but this doesn’t appear to be the case. How in the world is this company so incompetant? What’s the next door neighbor’s bill? The idea that they aren’t immediatly saying, “Okay, something’s wrong here.” tells me they could care less. That is until they are forced to do the right thing through the courts.

  • Arthur Dale

    In 2011 in Danville, IL a 79 year old woman received a water bill for $2000. The utility said she must have a leak on her property. I am a 74 year old retired engineer so I went to her property and found no leak. I calibrated the analog meter and found it to be consistent with her normal water usage costing about $35 per month. I told the utility that she had no leak but they said she must hire a licensed plummer. They also wanted her to pay $500 per month on the billed water usage. The plummer charged her $95 and he found no leak. I then checked her billing statement and found that the recently installed electronic meter had the decimal point in the wrong place resulting in 100 times her actual water use. I went back to the water company and this time they believed me, gave her a corrected bill and reimbursed her for the $95. The incident worried the woman until she felt sick.