DeKalb County

Woman stunned to get $23,000 water bill from county

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A DeKalb County woman was stunned to get a water bill this week for $23,000 from DeKalb County

Channel 2's Justin Wilfon talked to Lorettta Maddox, who got the bill for a whopping $23,063.01 on Tuesday at her Stone Mountain home.

The issue? Supposed water leaks at Maddox's home.

Maddox said she's had a few water leaks around her home, but not one that leaked anywhere near the amount of water that the bill claimed she used -- more than one million gallons just in the last month.

"My house would be floating down the road with all this water they're talking about," Maddox said.

Maddox told Wilfon that she doesn't know whether to laugh or cry -- but she certainly can't pay the bill.

"I just got crazy," Maddox said. "This can't be right. There must be something wrong."

Maddox said that within hours, she went to the county, demanding answers.

The county claims the problem is inside her home, but she says the problem is with the county's water meter.

Last week, Channel 2 Action News reported on efforts to replace faulty meters across DeKalb County, which led to high bills for many customers.


Maddox said she didn't get any answers from the county.

"I was getting kind of upset with it because I couldn't get any answers, so I just walked out," Maddox said.

That's when she called Channel 2 Action News.

Wilfon contacted DeKalb County officials. A spokesperson said the astronomical bills may have been caused by the leaks, saying the home "had multiple issues with its water system that included a leaking water heater, broken water lines and plumbing."

Maddox told Wilfon those issues were fixed months ago, and the bill shows a spike in usage just last month. Maddox blames that on what she believes is a faulty water meter.

Maddox hopes hers is replaced next, to end her flood of problems.

The county told Wilfon that Maddox's bill is under dispute. She will not have to pay it while the county investigates.

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