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CORRECTION: Local fights water bill that states she used about 90,000 gallons of water

Published: Mar. 19, 2021 at 11:36 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - The water bills of the months following the 90,100 gallon bill did not go back to normal, however they decreased drastically. Still, they were significantly higher than usual.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE (3/19)

Imagine waking up one day to find you have a $1,400 water bill to pay.

That’s what Doris Wayne is dealing with right now.

To be specific, the bill states she used 90,100 gallons in a single month. On top of that, the bill was back to a normal amount the very next month, according to Wayne.

Doris Wayne has been living in the same house in the same neighborhood for over 20 years.

She’s never had a bill even half the amount of the one she received earlier this year.

Wayne said, “I told them I don’t know where it’s going to come from. That’s more money than I make a month. I mean, I’m on Social Security.”

Wayne’s first response was to call the Claywood Park Public Service District.

The PSD’s Assistant Manager AJ Allen said, “She did in fact contact us and we sent our service men out there to investigate the meter.”

The PSD determined that the meter was read correctly, according to Allen.

In fact, there was no sign of a leak.

But when the PSD was called back a couple days later, they noticed a leak indicator going on and off with some time in between each switch.

Allen said, “That to us indicated that you know it could potentially be something inside...you know, a toilet, sink, fixture.”

Allen said two different public service districts have tested the meter, both coming back with the same answer. The meter is working.

Wayne said she has checked for a toilet leak herself. She even had the president of her homeowners association look under her home.

Still, no leak in sight.

Wayne said, “It’s got to be some kind of problem if. If it’s not - if the water isn’t coming here, where’s it going?”

Allen said, with all signs pointing to a leak inside the house, policy is that the bill will not be adjusted.

“The only thing that qualifies for relief on the bill is if a customer does in fact have a leak somewhere outside between the meter and to where it enters into the home.”

A payment plan was offered, but Wayne declined.

“If I had a leak, yeah I would make a deal with them,” she said.

Wayne’s son has since filed a complaint to the West Virginia Public Service Commission.

Whether Wayne will have to pay the bill in full is dependent on an ongoing investigation.

The wait is an anxious one.

Wayne said, “You know I don’t know when it’s going to hit me...that all of a sudden, I’m going to have to sign up for it.”

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