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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Betty Willis

$9000 is enough to pay for a dozen car wash water bills. sick

June 29 2012 at 2:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I would move out of Atlanta in a heart beat, this is nonsense.

June 26 2012 at 9:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

boy oh boy i guess you really can't fix stupid can you ?????? do an online survery and have a chance to have breakfast with an x president and michelle .just saying

June 23 2012 at 8:48 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Criminals. And the Congress just keeps letting these types of con-artist corporations get away with their crap while deregulation has proven to be a BAD thing to the people but good for THEIR pocketbooks! Time to bring back ALL the prior regulations and then some!

June 22 2012 at 7:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oh, wow that isn't anything. I was sent a 16,000 plus gas bill. Those numbers are correct, I had to get a lawyer and fight it. It showed up on my bill one billing cycle nd they tried everything to make me pay that, and it was for a single family home. So people watch your bills.

June 22 2012 at 6:01 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

I live near Atlanta and have heard these horror stories for well over a year now. It seems no avail for the home owner they have to pay or be shut off, then the amount will be disputed. I think it is time for someone in the Department of Energy or some office on the Federal level step in and see who is lining their pockets and why. They are not discriminating on this. Believe it or not people are actually having to take second mortgages on their homes to pay a friggin water bill.

June 22 2012 at 5:28 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

With all the Posts about how the people are being ripped blind in Atlanta , GA . for their water I would get an article posted in the Main Paper that a Lawyer is Being Hired to Handle a Class action Suit and any one that is getting Overcharged needs to sign to become part of " The Class Action Suit against Atlanta's Water Utility's company . This Woman Blayne Beacham Needs Legal help . When I move from a small house to a bigger on the water bill went from 50.00 a month to 290.00 . I asked them if Everyone on the block was tied into my water bill and they said no. City Water on your lawn is very expensive If you can Build a Well for your sprinkler Water and tell the Well Diggers you want the pipe to go down 115 feet to avoid Yellow water you will pay $50.00 to $100.00 a month for your water If your water is Turning your house and side walks yellow attach a $250.00 System to prevent the Discoloration. Unfortunately everyone cannot dig a well . 9,000.00 for two or three months of city water , Their gauges are way off and from the posts you are not the only one . I don't Know ONE person who checks their meter at the beginning of a cycle and at the end and calculates their own Bill to see if it is correct ! You do at the Supermarket, at the gas pump , People need to find out how to calculate these 2 Utility bills . If they Ripped $2.00 from everyone in Atlanta They could have More money than Ritchie Rich !

June 22 2012 at 3:58 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Check the meter first. My last water bill was triple normal because the water company misread the outside plug-in. Take pictures of the entire basement and house. If there was a repaired leak, it'll show in photographs. What was her regular bill anyway?

June 22 2012 at 3:55 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

There is no court and no judge in any rational civilized society that would believe that this woman should pay such an outrageous bill. So as soon as this arrogant water company's officials get off their high horses, they need to correct the obvious error, adjust the bill, get a reality check, and do whatever necessary to work with this woman in a fair and reasonable manner. Otherwise, this woman needs to consult an attorney to help document the stress she is suffering and notify every newspaper and TV consumer helpline that will listen and get on board with her until the company is publicly embarrassed enough to settle this ridiculous charade.

June 22 2012 at 2:52 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

of course her high bill sets off no common sense warnings in our paid local government official weakened and depraved minds. what a joke government is federal and local. lets hire some more educated idiots to rob us blind , or we can hire that nice old man who lives within his means , goes to church , raised a family and and has never changed his position on political ideas just to please the mass's that are stupid . ron paul for pres. .

June 22 2012 at 2:42 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply