Arizona family gets unexplained $105K water bill

By Tram Mai, NBC News | Posted - May 27th, 2013 @ 9:11am



FLAGSTAFF, Arizona — It's always a shock when a monthly bill is higher than expected, but over $100,000 more than usual?

That's what happened to an Arizona renter this month, according to KXPN.

The city of Flagstaff says a single home used nine million gallons of water, the equivalent of leaving an average shower running for more than six years.

That translates to a $105,000 water bill.

Another nearby home recently racked up a $16,000 bill.

How are these unusually high water bills possible?

According to Flagstaff City communication administrator Kim Ott, the city's water meter readings are done manually for the most part, and after meters are read it can take up to two more weeks before data is put in the system.

That's the first time any unusual readings are detected, which means if you had a leak start the day after your meter was read, and there were no visual sings of the leak, it could take up to six weeks before anyone would notice.

Ott said the city is looking into what happened to all that water and where it may have gone — whether it was a leak, soaked into the groundwater or some other mistake.

But in the meantime, the city has also decided to begin putting a notice on residents' doors when they take an unusual reading.

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