Fairburn man wants City of Atlanta to amend $5,000 water bill he says he does not owe

ATLANTA — David McElreath wants the City of Atlanta to amend his water bill after receiving notices he claims he does not owe.

McElreath told Channel 2 investigative reporter Ashli Lincoln every time he opens his mail, his heart skips a beat.

“I’m 66 years old, it’s not holding the breath, it’s taking heart medicine,” he said.

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McElreath said he recently received a notice from the city for $5,200.

It’s more than $5,000 the city says he owes for just two months of water.

“It’s amazing,” he said.

McElreath said the first red flag was back in March when his bill jumped from $30 to $133, he said.


He said he called the city, they inspected his line for leaks and they told him his meter was fine.

Less than a month later, McElreath said he received a bill for $2,400.

That was April’s bill.

The next month, he said he was hit with another blow.

“We got another bill for $2,700,” he said.

McElreath said before the last bill, he had his entire water line replaced, to ensure it was leak free.

That, paired with the city’s inspection is why he suspects this bill error is the result of a faulty water meter, he said.

“The meter’s been bad for a while,” he said.

Channel 2 took McElreath’s concerns to the city of Atlanta and they confirmed the inspection and said his meter is working properly.

They also said a leak was found, but McElreath said they never notified him of the leak.

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He said even if they did notify him, he still doesn’t understand the large bill even after getting the line replaced.

Based off of his bill, the city said 270,000 gallons of water has been flowing from his home.

“And we normally do 37, so that will tell you it’s 60 times more than what it’s supposed to be,” McElreath said.

“And when you have that, you would have water coming out of the ground,” he said.

The city says customers who are in this situation can contact the watershed department to request for a possible bill adjustment, something McElreath says he’s going to take them up on.

“I’m asking them to treat me right on this, and I want to pay what we normally pay which is $30 bucks a month and not $2,700,″ he said.