Atlanta Homeowner Hit With $9,000 Water Bill

Maybe she has Fiji water running through her pipes. Atlanta homeowner Blayne Beacham was shocked when she got a $9,224.40 bill for a few months' worth of water.

Beacham, who lives alone in a three-bedroom cottage, has been fighting local authorities for months over her abnormally high water bills. But none has come close to $9,000.

"It's more than all my other bills put together for three years," Beacham told WSBTV. She has asked for a new meter, she said, but the Department of Watershed Management told her that the meter is working fine. She has also checked for leaks several times, most recently in April, when a certified plumber confirmed that the pipes were sound.

According to Beacham, a water official told her that there was a leak in the past that had been fixed. "This is absolutely absurd," Beacham told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. "I have no way of proving I did not get a leak fixed, because I did not have a leak."

To help diagnose the problem, the water management company installed a data logger, which can measure hour-by-hour water usage. But Beacham isn't convinced it will do her any good. "I think it's just buying them time so I will just give up or I will have to pay because it will just be too much time," Beacham said.

The results of the data logger won't be ready until mid-July.

Beacham isn't the only person in the Atlanta area facing water troubles. Buckhead Patch has more on the local "water wars," and CNN has also reported on skyrocketing water bills in the city.

Clearly, Atlanta homeowners haven't been as lucky as Kristin Harriger of Abilene, Texas. She received an electric bill asking her to pay a whopping $1,381,783.92. But when Harriger called the utility company, it readily admitted there was a computing error: they charged her $1,000 per kilowatt-hour instead of the usual $0.09.


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