December 25, 2008

Woman receives $4,700 water bill

An elderly Houston woman received $4,700 water bill that claimed she used 495,000 gallons of water in a single month -- a feat plumbers called impossible.

Annabelle Baylous said her water bill is usually about $10, so she was shocked to see the amount on the bill she received this month, KHOU-TV, Houston, reported Thursday.

Over $4,000! Baylous said. This is the worst Christmas present I could get.

KHOU said plumbers examined the home, which has only one bathroom and one occupant, and determined that there were no leaks and Baylous could not have possibly used as much water as the city claims.

Even if she ran the water continuously, it wouldn't generate the amount of gallons she's being billed for, plumber John Cantu said.

The city agreed to reduce the bill to $1,000 but Baylous, who lives on a fixed income, said that amount still represents a price hike that could leave her without enough money to afford her medicine.

City officials said they are still investigating the matter and the bill could be further reduced.