Broken Meter Leads Family To Fight $12,000 Water Bill For 9 Months

What happens when your local utility company is up to its ears in customer calls? You could end up fighting a hefty water bill for months on end, like one Pittsburgh family that had to battle a $12,241.60 total on their account for nine months.

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority told the couple that 800,000 gallons of water had leaked from their home’s pipes over eight days, reports KDKA-TV.

“I thought it was a mistake. I said, ‘There’s no way it’s $12,000,’” the woman explained.

But the PWSA wasn’t too helpful at first, they say, leading the TV station to get involved and resolve the situation once and for all. They’d been battling the bill for months on end.

As it turns out, the PWSA said the home’s meter froze, and the company had to replace broken parts. Someone along the line misread the meter to the tune of 807,000 extra gallons.

“So, it appeared as though they used 810,000 gallons instead of the three that was actually used,” a PWSA rep told KDKA. If that was the case, the bill should actually only be about $23.

And the reason it took so long to correct the mistake, leaving the couple hanging and nervous that they’d be on the hook for a huge sum? Not enough people to answer the phone.

“We had an extraordinary winter. In fact, the call center, the calls spiked 250 percent just in the month of January alone,” the PWSA spokeswoman said.

The couple says it’s about time the company starts keeping customers informed in a timely manner, because it’s goshdarn stressful to freak out about a huge bill for that long.

Get Marty: Family Faces $12,000 Water Bill From PWSA Error [KDKA-TV}