Homeowner at wits' end after receiving $9,000 water bill

by: Tony Thomas Updated:


ATLANTA - An Atlanta homeowner got quite the shock when she opened her mail earlier this week and found a bill for $9,224.40 for apparent water usage in her northwest Atlanta three-bedroom cottage.

More than $6,000 of that was for last month alone.

Blayne Beacham lives alone and said there is no way she has used that much water.

"If I was using that much water, we'd just be in a sinkhole," Beacham told Channel 2's Tony Thomas.

Beacham has been battling Atlanta Watershed for months over what she believes are out-of-control bills, but they have never been anywhere near this amount.

"I don't do any outside watering. You know, five showers a week, two loads of laundry, one dishwasher run -- it's not $9,000 worth of water," she said.

Just two years ago, her bill for one month was $28.

Beacham said she's had the lines checked three times by different companies, and no one has found a leak.

"It's more than all my other bills put together for three years," she said.

An Atlanta Watershed representative, Janet Ward, confirmed that the meter is working fine in front of Beacham's Ridgemore Road home.

Ward said the Department is trying to figure out what the problem is.

"Clearly not a leak, but her usage is very inconsistent," Ward said.

The city has installed what's called a data logger on the meter to determine hour-by-hour usage.

But, Ward said the machine must be in place for 30 days, and its information won't be available for another month.

For Beacham, she's not sure what to do next and is not trusting that the data logger will prove anything.

"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.